onsdag 26 februari 2014

Escape Plan

If you would say to me, that you don´t love one of Schwarzneggers movies, i know you are lying. The same goes for Stallone also, i know there is at least one movie you love from him. The fact is that both Schwarznegger and Stallone are 2 of the biggest action Icons of all time. If you disagree, i think we need to get you therapy. When the first Expendables movie came out in 2010, we got to see them both on screen, but only for a short time. In The Expendables 2, we got to see them both helping out shooting 659 bad guys in 10 minutes, could it be more beautiful than this ? No, this is paradise. I did not know if we would ever see these 2 legends work together. But then rumours were coming about a movie named The Tomb, where Schwarznegger and Stallone is together again on screen. Excited to see the development, i also found out swedish director Mikael Håfström was the director, that just made things even better. I loved his film 1408. The title changed into Escape Plan, but the cast remained the same. So with a combination of 2 great action stars, and a talented director, is Escape Plan a motion picture for old school fans of the 80´s and 90´s, or is this a desperate try to just get a fat paycheck ?

Ray Beslin ( Sylvester Stallone ) is an expert at escaping prison facilities. He used to be a former prosecutor, but now he is the co-owner of security firm Breslin-Clark. He is the best at breaking out of any prison, so he tries to find every possible way to get out. Ray and his business partner Lester Clark ( Vincent D´Onofrio ), are offered a multimillion dollar deal by CIA agent Jessica Miller ( Caitriona Balfe ). CIA want Ray to break out of a prison, that they say should be impossible to break out of. Ray is not sure at first, but say yes because he needs the money. In New Orleans, Ray agree to be kidnapped and taken to the new prison. As he wakes up, he notice something must be wrong. The code that he should be able to use, to be released is not working. The prison warden is not even the person Ray was informed would be there. The prison warden´s name is Willard Hobbes ( Jim Caviezel ), and he don´t believe Ray is here for no reason at all. Ray is furious, someone fooled him to stay inside prison. Ray meets inmate Emil Rottmayer ( Arnold Schwarznegger ), and tell him he needs to get out. Together they begin to plan an escape, and to stop Willard from his evil plans.

In the beginning i thought i would know exactly what will happen. And i do, until we find out what kind of prison both of Stallone and Schwarznegger are trapt inside. Finally something different in this genre. Stallone have done prison movies before, remember Tango & Cash or maybe Lock Up ? In Escape Plan we get a different take on he prison genre, that helps this motion picture from becoming a lame repeat. In fact, this is a quite fun ride, even if there are flaws. I have to say Stallone is the strongest character here, he is both funny and can still deliver solid action sequences. Schwarznegger is getting old, and you can tell here that his acting skills are still the same. But he still knows how to deliver classic quotes, and throw in some good punches. Director Mikael Håfström tries to show us a different perspective on prison action. The plot is not very unique, but on the other hand this is an action movie, so we don´t need a complicated plot. Escape Plan is nothing you might remember for being original, but if you just want to watch some action with legendary actors, this is a good choice. I wonder who dropped the soap in the shower ? My guess is Schwarznegger, because he knows no one is more hard than him, or is that true ?

Rating: DDD

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

I think the whole world agree, that Peter Jackson is one of the greatest directors of all time. I must have seen The Lord Of The Rings at least 10 times, the same with the sequels. I don´t think anyone will ever make better adventure movies than Peter Jackson. His vision and visual ideas are absolutely fantastic. I dont think anyone else could have made The Lord Of The Rings trilogy as good as he did. Now, if you have not seen his earlier work, like Bad Taste, or Braindead, you need to go and buy these now. These movies are bigger classics than Lawrence Of Arabia, yes you read correctly. I see his earlier work as some of the greatest movies of all time. Meet The Feebles is the best puppet comedy you will ever see, where else will you see a fly eating shit out of a toilet and a crocodile doing heroine ? When The Hobbit turned up about 2 years ago, i was very excited to see if the prequel would follow in the great foot step of Jacksons earlier work. In some ways it did, but i must admit i felt that it was not on the same level of cinema magic. Maybe because the cast was not as good as in The Lord Of The Rings. Gandalf is still here, but the new cast just did not match the characters all the way. So here we are, with the next chapter of The Hobbit. I was supposed to see this in christmas last year, but after months i finally got a chance to watch The Desolation Of Smaug. Is this sequel a big improvement since last time, or is it still facing problems with the cast ?

Bilbo Baggins ( Martin Freeman ), Gandalf the Grey ( Ian McKellen ) and the chosen men, continue their quest. They are on the run from Azog and the orch army. Gandalf know a place where they can hide, but warn that it could be dangerous. Still they decide to find their way to the home of Beorn ( Mikael Persbrandt ), half man, half bear. Azog and his army do not dare to continue the journey, because he knows Beorn will protect Bilbo and his team. At first Beorn is hostile as a bear, but as he transform into a man he becomes more friendly. He supply the men with food and horses, and tell them to go through Mirkwood. This forest is known for being dangerous, so Gandalf warn them not to loose the path trail. Unfortunately they loose their way and is captured by giant spiders. Luckily Bilbo manage to get out of the net he is captured in, and with the help of the ring, make himself invisible to help the rest of the team. As they try and escape the forest, spiders attack. But a group of elves suddenly appear, including Legolas ( Orlando Bloom ) and Tauriel ( Evangeline Lilly ), who save the team. But since Legolas do not trust these people, he and his people lock them up. The only way to be set free is by The Elvenking, known as Thraundil ( Lee Pace ), only he can decide if they should be released. Thraundil will release them, on one condition. They must find white gems, in the dungeon of Smaug. Thorin Oakenshield ( Richard Armitage ) do not agree to do this, so is also thrown in a cell. Bilbo managed not to be captured in the Mirkwood forest, so he have followed his friends to rescue them out of their cells. Bilbo and his team escape, while the elves is also attacked by Bolg, son of Azog, who was ordered to kill everyone. Bolg and his orchs attack the elves, but Bilbo and his friends manage to survive. Now they must travel to the dungeon of Smaug, and steal the jewel Arkenstone.

I am happy to say that The Desolation Of Smaug is better than the first chapter. More action, more special effects, but most of all, more stronger characters have arrived. Mikael Persbrandt is here as the character Beorn. he looks quite funny with all his facial hair. Is he any good ? Well he tries at least to make this character look majestic, and does ok. While some of the other cast members are back, they have tried to give their characters more depth. And this is a good detail. Last time i felt that they did not match really good, and now they are going in the right direction. Peter Jackson still prove why he is one of the greatest adventure directors of all time. Even if The Desolation Of Smaug is better than last time, it is still not as great as The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. One reason is that the characters were much more powerful in the previous movies,  and it would be almost impossible to find better actors in The Hobbit. Let´s talk about the action sequences. I think many people felt that An Unexpected Journey was a bit slow. Thankfully this sequel tries to fix that, with bigger battle scenes and more violence. The dragon Smaug is an important detail in this chapter, and from a special effect perspective, i have o say that Smaug looks great. The Desolation Of Smaug is a worthy sequel to An Unexpected Journey, even better i would say. The acting is better, the characters feel stronger, If you love The Lord Of The Rings, i have a feeling you will enjoy this one also. I am looking forward to the final chapter of The Hobbit, hopefully it will have everything we hope for. Until then, i suggest you feast on this one.

Rating: DDDD

måndag 24 februari 2014


I love Scotland. The beautiful highlands, the kind people, the history. I have travelled several times to Scotland, and i am planning on going back. One thing you need to know about Scotland, is how proud people are in the scottish movie Trainspotting. Vulgar, brutal, outrageous, Trainspotting is indeed the perfect movie to watch with the whole family. Evan MacGregor became a huge star after his performance in this 90's classic. I actually walked on some of the streets where Trainspotting were filmed. For many years there were speculations about making a sequel to Trainspotting, based on the novel Porno by author Irvine Welsh. Last year director Danny Boyle confirmed that there will be a sequel made if everything goes as planned. Here is some other good news, another movie have been made from one of Irvine Welsh books, named Filth. Another outrageous story located in Edinburgh ? It seems so, and since the premiere Filth have been praised by both movie critics and the audience. Is Filth another scottish classic or is it impossible to make something as good as Trainspotting ever again ?

A chinese man is found murdered in a tunnel in Edinburgh. Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is on the case with his partner Ray Lennox ( Jamie Bell ). While the investigation is going, Bruce continue living on the edge of his life. Drugs, sex, alcohol and violence, all the things he needs to keep his life going. Bruce find out where some of the suspects are located. He is getting closer to get the case solved, but his own addiction problems are growing bigger. His doctor, Dr. Rossi ( Jim Broadbent ), make sure he gets more drugs, until things really begin to go in the wrong direction. Bruce is hoping to become a Detective Inspector, but in order to become this he needs to solve this case, and somehow get back on track with his life.

Oh god yes.....Filth is so fucking great you cant stop applause infront of your tv screen. Its sick, perverted, outrageous and simply funny as hell. And Sweden did not show Filth in the cinema, that is just pathetic. Because if there is one movie that deserved to be shown in the cinema, Filth would be the perfect choice. But at least it is out on dvd and blu ray in the UK, so you better buy this one. James McAvoy is fantastic as Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson. He should have been nominated for best male performance at many award shows. Director Jon S. Baird have managed to create a movie with so much power, you will feel knocked out. The style is gorgeous, brutal and so weird that i fucking love this. Am i swearing too much ? Lovely, i simply dont care. Filth is a blast from start to the finish line. The other cast members like Jamie Bell and Eddie Marsan both give great performances as 2 very different personalities with personal problems. Jim Broadbent is hilarious here as Dr. Rossi, let´s just say i would not want him to treat me if i am sick. There is one really funny scene that includes the classic song Mr. Vain by Culture Beat. I am not going to say what happens, but trust me i laughed a lot, and that does not happen everyday. Are you sick of boring big budget productions with no fun to offer ? Filth will piss straight in their face scottish style and get the party started. Go out and buy Filth, i dont need to explain why, show your support for films made in Scotland.

Rating : DDDD

lördag 22 februari 2014


Let´s be honest. The 80´s had some really great action movies. Die Hard, Predator, Commando, The Terminator, and the list goes on. One of the reason why action movies in the 80´s became classics is because they mixed overtop action with political satire, in a combination that turned out to be a great combination. Even if the first Die Hard movie is one of the best action movies of all time, there is still one movie that belong on the top 10 list.


This 1987 movie was way ahead of it´s time. A story of police officer Alex Murphy ( Peter Weller ) who gets killed, but resurrect inside a robot, who is designed to be the perfect crime fighter. Director Paul Veerhoven managed to do a completely different approach on the action genre, with a new character that became an icon for many generations ahead. Veerhoven also managed to find a great balance on political subjects among crime statistics. RoboCop pleased both the audience and movie critics, and for a good reason. Director Paul Veerhoven should have won an Award at the time for best director, because he did something very unique and dared to try a different approach than previous cop motion pictures. Still, the legacy goes on. There were 2 sequels, the second one was at least ok, the third one was.......Twilight Alert. Yes it was so bad i prefer to forget about it. And here we are, a reboot of RoboCop with swedish actor Joel Kinnaman taking over the character Alex Murphy. And this time with director José Padilha on board ( director of brazilian action movie Elite Squad ), for a brand new adaption of RoboCop. Is this reboot a worthy restart of this classic action character, or is this another adaption that should have stayed locked up.

In the year of 2028, multinational conglomerate OmniCorp have developed robot soldiers, that help military overseas to solve dangerous operations and help innocent people. The CEO of OmniCorp, Raymond Sellars ( Michael Keaton ) have an idea. What if you put an injured man, inside a robot, and let him help victims on the streets ? Scientist Dr. Dennett Norton ( Gary Oldman ) think this might be a bad idea, but follow orders. Police officer Alex Murphy ( Joel Kinnaman ) is found badly burned from a car explosion, planned by crime boss Antoine Vallon ( Patrick Garrow ). Alex survive, but is so badly injured he may not make it, so OCP let his wife Clara Murphy ( Abbie Cornish ), decide if he should be plugged out, or survive as a robot. Alex wakes up, learning he is no longer human. He tries to escape the compound, but is shut down. He realise he now belongs to OCP, and must follow orders. Police force is not sure what to think of this new cop, as he begin to cruise the streets. As Dr.Dennett is told to adjust Alex memories, something seems to be wrong. Alex still remember when a car bomb killed him, and he remember Antoine, so he is set out to get his revenge. But OCP have other plans for Alex, and are ready to do whatever it takes to get him to adjust.

You might wonder if i am going to compare this reboot to the original motion picture. There is no need too. Because i think most of us already knew they could never make it better than the 1987 version. But hold on for a moment, i will be honest and say this is better than i expected.Joel Kinnaman does a great performance as RoboCop, and i feel proud since he is also from Sweden. He manage to find a great balance to show human emotions and act like a robot, as OCP tell him what to do. Michael Keaton is here, and i am so happy to see him act this good again. He used to do many great motion pictures, but ended up doing small low budget movies with nothing to offer. Here he gets a chance to shine again. Gary Oldman proves once again why he is one of the biggest actors of all time, absolutely splendid. The story around RoboCop is basically the same story, but director José Padilha try and update the story and also tell more about how Alex Murphy deal with the situation, of being a robot. And this makes this reboot more interesting, where we see another side behind Alex Murphy that we did not see in the original motion picture. The action sequences look great and we get plenty of guns served. I would have wanted a more powerful villain in this adaption than Patrick Garrow. He tries to be mean and a bad ass, but don´t get much screen time. Apart from this, RoboCop sets out what it is supposed to do. Deliver solid action and a human perspective story. I suggest you go buy a ticket, because who does not love RoboCop ? Come on, i know you do.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 12 februari 2014

Lone Survivor

America , the land of the free. I have a feeling that America might be the biggest icon country of the world. Toys, cars, video games, movies, sports, food, there are so many things that we copy from America. About a year ago i was planning to go to New York, instead we went to 3 places, Berlin, Kemer and Dublin. I always wanted to visit America, to see if my image of Dolph Lundgren is the greatest american of all time, he must be since here in Sweden he is our greatest icon. Of course i will find out, a trip to America is going to happen at some point, If there is one image most people know, from news, magazines and photos, is the fact that Navy Seals have larger balls than Bingo Rimér. Am i sure ? Yes, for once i can say i am right. Just imagine every mission they go on, not knowing if they will be alive again ? Lone Survivor is a motion picture, based on true events surrounding a mission, Operation Red Wings, in Afghanistan. The tragic story behind the operation, left many men dead in the Afghanistan forest. I have no personal opinion about this story, because i feel that we can´t know or understand how it was like to be in a mission like this one. These men fight for their lives to finish the mission. With actors like Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster and Eric Bana on board, is Lone Survivor a powerful war movie that leaves a strong impact, or is this another patriotic message with no substance ?

SEAL Team 10 is preparing to go on a new mission, named Operation Red Wings. As the mission is approved, the team finds out they need to locate Taliban leader Ahmad Shah ( Yousuf Azami ) and kill him. Sniper Marcus Luttrel ( Mark Wahlberg ) and his team members are dropped off high above some mountains, as they make their way towards the village where Ahmad is said to be located. In the forest, they suddenly meet an old man, and some young men. They are taken hostages as the team discuss if they should kill these people. Everyone agrees finally to let them go. But one of the boys tell about the american team in the forest, and now the team is revealed. They need to get out of the area, and fast.

I usually check out trailers on new movie releases. But i actually never watched the trailer of Lone Survivor, maybe because i had no expectations at all. I am happy to say that this is better than i expected. Director Peter Berg have actually managed to do a war movie, that does not feel too patriotic, instead you get a more personal story on the life of these men, trapped in hell. Lone Survivor is said to be based on true events, and if this is what happened you can feel sadness for the men who lost their lives. Mark Wahlberg proves once again why he is a great actor, with a believable character who tries to stay alive. This is not as good as Platoon or Apocalypse Now Redux, but far better than some of the war movies that have been released lately. Some of the forest scenes are very well made, with intensive action sequences as you can feel the men are scared. Not much to complain about, Lone Survivor is a war movie that leaves a message, no matter how afraid you are, you need to focus to survive. Remember the action movie Battleship ? Peter Berg have dropped most of the patriotic substance and replaced it with a much deeper story this time. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards, things are looking good for Lone Survivor, and hopefully the box office succes will follow worldwide.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 4 februari 2014

Welcome To The Jungle

As a movie reviewer, i know that many critics hate Jean-Claude Van Damme. Is it because his choice of movies ? Probably, but let me explain something. When you see Jean-Claude on a big screen or on dvd, you want him to be the way he is. Pure action, no drama, and dialogue that anyone can remember. But something happened in 2008, with the release of his motion picture JCVD. He was praised by critics, some were even saying he should win an Academy Award, and i was so happy that Van Damme got attention. Because he is not a bad actor, he have become better over the years and he tried to do different kind of stories. Considering he have gone a long way, from classics like Bloodsport and Kickboxer, to more deeper stories, i did not expect to see Jean-Claude do a comedy. This is not the first time an action star does this, we all know Schwarznegger tried this, and Stallone among others. Welcome To The Jungle is a comedy, said to be a mix of classic motion picture Lord Of The Flies and tv series The Office. With this crazy combination with a action legend on board, is this a positive turn for Van Damme´s career, or is this a completely wrong turn straight to hell ?

Chris ( Adam Brody ) is a hard worker, coming up with ideas for product sales. He have just found the perfect design for a new look for toilet paper. Chris finds out that an interested investor is coming to take a look on new ideas to the office. But co worker Phil ( Rob Phuebel ) steals Chris idea, as he presents the new look at a meeting. Phil is praised for this new look, as Chris is left empty with no one who cares if this is his idea. Chris work friend Jared ( Eric Edelstein ) try to support him, with no big difference. One day the company boss Mr. Crawford ( Dennis Haysbert ) gather everyone to a conference room. He have arranged a trip for 2 days, for everyone at the office to learn to work better together. The location is in a jungle, and the leader of this is Teamwork Instructor Storm ( Jean-Claude Van Damme ). He will teach every office worker how you work together in the best possible way, especially out in the wilderness. As the team begin to work together in different situations, something is about to go terribly wrong.

As i said earlier, i did not expect to see Van Damme in a comedy. So how is he in his debut for this genre ? Actually, very funny. Not hysterical, but i did laugh many times. He simply jokes about his typcial image, as the toughest bad ass ever. And together with Adam Brody among others, Welcome To The Jungle succeeds to take this mixture of different ingredients, without becoming over the top. If there is a problem, i guess it would be that the story is way too simple. But on the other hand, director Mark Sheppard manage to give us a comedy that take teamwork on a whole different level, than what we are used to see. Welcome To The Jungle is not for everyone, i realise that. Some people might find this silly, but trust me Kärlek Deluxe is much more silly than this. Too bad Van Damme is not on screen in the whole movie, i actually think i would have enjoyed this one even more if he did. But still this is a good time, guaranteed to work with some beer and snacks. By the way, there is one scene all boys will love, i wont say what happends, but guys might say this is better than Christmas Eve.

Rating: DDD

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

I would not want to work as a CIA agent. Why ? Just think how much responsability they have and so much pressure they have to handle ? No, i prefer having a normal job, where i dont have to wake up knowing i could be killed while having morning coffee. Author Tom Clancy passed away last year, a man who wrote so many novels about spies, police cases and of course terrorists in different parts of the world. Jack Ryan, CIA agent, is one of Tom Clancys most famous characters, who first showed up in a motion picture in The Hunt Of Red October. Alec Baldwin was the first actor to portrait this character inside a submarine. 2 years later Harrison Ford took over as Jack Ryan in Patriot Games. People loved Harrison Fords version of Jack Ryan, and it was a box office hit. He returned as Jack Ryan in the sequel Clear And Present Danger. It took over 7 years before the character Jack Ryan returned to the big screen, as Ben Affleck took over the role in the next chapter The Sum Of All Fears. And here we are, with a prequel to tell the story how Jack Ryan started his life in Shadow Recruit. With a completely new cast, and a younger Jack played by Chris Pine, is this prequel a worthy start of this classic character, or no where near as good as the previous movies ?

Jack Ryan ( Chris Pine ) is a student at the London School Of Economics. When he is finished with his studies, he becomes a Marine Second Lieutenant in Afghanistan. His promising start for a career, suddenly changes when a chopper he is travelling in is shot down. Jack is badly injured, he survives but he will need a lot of rehabilitation to come back to ordinary life. At the rehab center for injured soldiers, Jack meets Dr. Cathy Muller ( Kiera Knightley ), who work here. Jack and Cathy become more than friends, and finally end up becoming a married couple. Thomas Harper ( Kevin Costner ), an official with the CIA, notice how talented Jack is. CIA decide to recruite Jack. 10 years later, we find Jack working on Wall Street on a cover job as a stock brokerage. One day, while Jack go though numbers, he finds out something is not right. He discover that trillions of dollars held by Russian organizations, just dissapear. Jack inform CIA what he have found, as Thomas organize an operation in Moscow. The man behind this is said to be Viktor Cherevin ( Kenneth Branagh ), a war veteran from the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He is the one in control of the funds, and he seems to be planning something bigger than before. Jack needs to find out what Viktor is going to do, before time is running out.

I would have liked this motion picture even more, if Kenneth Branagh would have changed some scenes. You see, there are moments i am so bored, and this is supposed to be a spy thiller. The cast is great, and even Kevin Costner does ok, but the slow scenes in the first hour makes the impact feel blurry. Chris Pine does a good performance, even if i am not a big fan of his pervious work. In the last 30 minutes we finally get some more action that should have been delivered earlier. But the journey towards the end feels endless, and you wonder if director Kenneth Branagh thought that this might be what the audience wanted in a Jack Ryan prequel. This is not a bad motion picture, there are moments where we get some nice surprises. But this does not happen very often, so i have to give this low rating based on the extremely slow scenes. I respect Kenneth both as an actor and a director, he is very talented in both ways. But this is just not good enough to enjoy all the way.

Rating: DD