Tag Archives: Thriller

The Conjuring 2, American/Canadian movie (2016)

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

image

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

image

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

image

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

I give The Conjuring 2 a 7 out 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Action Movies of the 80’s

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

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

Rambo: First Blood (1982)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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)

image

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

image

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!

Hush, American movie (2016)

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

image

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

image

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

image

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

I give Hush a 8 out of 10 score.

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.

image

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….

image

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.

image

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.

Steins;Gate,Anime tv series (2011)

Timetravelling. From movies such as Back to the Future and The Terminator, it has always been a concept that is endlessly fascinating. And why not? Would it not be incredibly awesome if one day the concept would become a reality? And where would you go? Would you travel to the past and correct certain mistakes that you have made ? Or would you head into the future and see what your life would be like there? Whatever choice you make, it will never be entirely without consequences. Who is to say that correcting a past mistake might not end up resulting in a future that is even worse? And when you already know what might happen in the future, would that not take the fun out of living your life? A lot of movies that deal with timetravelling deal with questions such as these. The highly rated and fanfavorite Anime series Steins;Gate is definitely no exception to this rule.

image

When Steins;Gate starts we meet up with the strange and pretty goofy character Rintaro Okabe. He sees himself as a “mad scientist” and pretty much can’t stop talking about that fact. Seeing conspiracies everywhere, he also runs a labarotory in his appartment together with his friends the loveable Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida. One day Rintaro attends a conference about time travel, a subject that has become a complete obsession for him. A firm believer in the fact that this can really be achieved it is not long after that he and his fellow lab members find out by accident that there definitely is a truth to this fact. Unfortunately however, Rintaro and his friends are about to find out that playing with time has it’s consequences. Ironically enough the imagined conspiracies Okabe has been afraid of all his life, will soon become a reality. And the lives of everyone he loves, as well as the fate of the world itself will hang in the balance….

image

Steins;Gate has been recommended to me be my so many people that is was a very hard show to resist. Featuring time travel, one of my favorite science fiction concepts, already had me interested in it. Seeing the very high ratings this show has received over the years, I expected a lot from this series. And…..I am sorry to say that these expectations were not met. The first half of this series is just incredibly slow. I don’t mind slow series at all, but with all the quirky and crazy things happening in the beginning it was at times hard to stick with it. But I already knew that, as everyone kept saying that the series would redeem itself in the second part. By the time I had reached episode 12 the series really did change. It became very dark, and it was almost as if you were watching an entirely different show.

image

Although the second part certainly had a lot of amazing twists, and some very clever timetravelling concepts, I still could not get into it enough for me to truly enjoy the series. One thing I did enjoy though were the characters. Rintaro reminds me a lot of Mel Gibson’s character from the briljant movie Conspiracy Theory. Completely nuts at times, but still a lot of fun to watch. The same goes for his childhood friend Mayuri, who is simply adorable, and one of those characters that you just instantly care about. The animation style and music also really fit this series. Even though there are certainly shows out there that have a higher level of animation, it just seemed right for this show.

image

The plot of this series is clever, but because of the sometimes weird humor in the series, I often had a hard time wondering what this series wanted itself to be. As a comedy it certainly worked at times, and there were also quite a few episodes in the second half of the series that had me on the edge of my seat. Overall though the series was a bit too slow for my tastes. I have no regrets watching this, and it really is one of those series that does keep sticking around in your mind, which I guess is a good thing . Maybe in a few months time I will rewatch this series and might even rate it somewhat higher. For now though I can not help but feel slightly disappointed by the show after the incredible amount of hype this has received. As with everything, this is just a matter of opinion, so certainly don’t take my word on it alone. Go and judge this series for yourself, but do take your TIME for it though…..

I give Steins;Gate a 7 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…

image

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.

 

ARQ, American/Canadian movie (2016)

I have very fond memories of the classic movie Groundhog Day. In that film, Bill Murray keeps reliving the same day, over and over again. It was a fantastic concept which also resulted in a very wonderful movie. Ever since Groundhog Day, timeloops have appeared in numerous movies and tv series. If done well, it can make for a great watch, for instance the recent animeseries Erased. Netflix has released a lot of great movies and shows this year, and they really seem to be on a roll. The sci-fi movie ARQ is Netflix’s attempt to create a new spin on the timeloop story.

ARQ takes place in a post apocalyptic Earth where something has gone drastically wrong with the world. The human race is the only species left, electricity is scarce, and the very air is hard to breath. Every day seems to be a struggle. One day the young man Renton wakes up in his house next to the girl he loves Hannah. Only seconds later a group of masked thugs break down the door to their appartment, and drag the bewildered couple straight down to the basement of the house. Renton has been working on a mysterious device called ARQ that is situated in the very same basement. He assumes this is what the masked men are after, and he desperately tries to find a way to escape. However, something goes horribly wrong and he gets shot while attempting to flee. But then something weird happens. Renton wakes up seconds later, right next to gis girlfriend. Caught in a timeloop from which there seems to be no escape, Renton and Hannah desperately try to find a way out. However time itself will be their greatest foe…

image

This is one of those movies that just doesn’t do anything wrong, but also feels like you have seen this all before. Which is pretty funny, considering this is a movie about a timeloop. One of the things this movie does very well, is create a dark and tense atmosphere. The calamity that seems to have befallen Earth, never quite gets explained, and that somehow works for this film. It only adds to the sense of mystery that surrounds this movie. Robby Amell who plays Renton, and Rachael Taylor playing Hannah both do a pretty good job in their respective roles. The story of ARQ is one of the weaker points of the film. There are a lot of questions in the movie, that in the end will unfortunately not all be answered. Sometimes that works, as in the aforementioned disaster that devastated the Earth. But too many things are left wide open, and will leave you with a bit of a hangover at the end of the film.

That said, this is not a bad film. If you like scifi thrillers with a bit of a darker edge, there is enough to enjoy in this movie. Unfortunately though, as too many things are left unresolved, it will leave you wondering why you have invested all your precious time in it. And not even a timeloop can change that fact….

I give ARQ a 6 out of 10 score.

Erased, Anime tv series (2016)

What if I asked you the question: “Would you like to go back and relive your childhood,  if you were able to?” I think everyone would probably have a different reason to maybe go back, while others would not go back at all. For myself, the answer would maybe surprise you, as I would answer with no. One of the main reasons my answer is no, is that especially in the early schoolyears I got bullied…a lot. So I don’t really have particular fond memories of those days. One of the things that helped me get through all that, were my parents. I am really, really blessed with them, and on that front I really have no complaints whatsoever. As I grew older, things definitely improved, and I have enough happy memories to look back on. Hmm, why this pretty dark and sad opening you might wonder? Well, the Anime series Erased also deals with childhood, but treads the path of something even more terrible than bullying.

Satoru Fujinuma is a 29 year old Manga artist, who has trouble getting the right things on paper. However, he also has a very unique and special power: travelling back short periods in time to prevent death and other tragedies from happening. One day Satoru becomes the suspect of a terrible crime of which he is innocent, but while escaping from the police, his power activates and he is sent back farther in time than ever before. When he wakes up he discovers that he is 10 years old again, but his memories are still those of his 29 year old self. When heading to his high school he meets up with his old classmates including a girl called Kayo. Satoru remembers that Kayo is heading for a very sad and terrible fate, and now he has a chance to maybe change it all in this new timeline. But things become more complicated as he finds out that Kayo’s fate might be tied to his own in the future…

image

Erased is simply put:a masterpiece. It is almost impossible to mention everything that is great about it, but here are some highlights. People who say that animation is just for kids, will hopefully be silent after seeing this series. One of the subject matters the show deals with is child abuse, and it doesn’t shy away from it either. There were some truly heartbreaking scenes that were at times very hard to watch, but made the story all the more powerful because of it. The story was put together in a very clever way, and is maybe best described as The Butterfly Effect, meets Groundhog Day, with a small blend of the Orange anime series added for effect. Even though the series runs for only 12 episodes you feel an attachment to the characters, that you at times don’t even get from series that have a longer run. Ultimately though, despite the heavy subject matter, what it comes down to is that nobody needs to do things alone. Treasure friends that you have, and be grateful that you have them. Don’t despair though and think that you might need therapy after watching this. Yes there is a lot of heavy stuff going on, but it is also a wonderful, exiting and heartwarming tale, that I dare you to not finish in one run. It really is that good.

Before I give the final grade (which probably won’t be much of a surprise) I want to thank AnnmarieMCQueen for pointing out this gem. She is an up and coming blogger who has a lot different and cool things going on at her blog, so it is worth checking it out, if you haven’t already.

I give Erased a 10 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….

image

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.