tisdag 25 mars 2014

Hey kids, gather round, i have some great news!

Do you like B movies ?

Did you love Sharknado ?

Then you are going to love this information.

I will be writing 2 movie reviews of the same company that brought us Sharknado. Am i talking about The Asylum ? Yes indeed. Just for fun, i thought it would be nice to leave the big Hollywood industry for just a moment, i will be writing more big budget movie reviews later on anyway.

I wont tell you what 2 movies i have chosen, you will have to see for yourself. But remember, B movies make our lives better.

Cheers from Daniel

måndag 24 mars 2014


Time flies away so fast. I have been writing movie reviews for years now, and i will continue guaranteed. One of the things i always try to do is mix genres, big Hollywood productions and smaller independent films. If i would only write reviews on big box office hits, i would simply be bored. I enjoy mixing the reviews so people can choose what they want to read, and i also get a chance to write about movies some people never heard of before. I have a feeling that not many swedes know about Contracted, and there is a reason for that. Contracted only got shown a week in cinemas ( at least that´s the information i have found ), and that is a sign that not many people know of this motion picture. So where did i found out about Contracted, considering it was not shown anywhere ? Actually, when it was shown at the Chicago International Film Festival 2013. I try to look up new festival films, so i found Contracted in their selection of movies. Director Eric England is mostly known for directing the low budget horror movie Madison County. I have not seen this one so far, so i have no idea how his previous work is. Considering i did not know much at all about Contracted, is this a pleasent horror independent surprise, or is there a reason why so many people have not seen this one so far ?

Samantha (Najarra Townsend) have just had a fight with her girlfriend Nikki ( Katie Stegeman ). She goes to a party just to have fun and get her mind on something else. At this party she meets a male stranger, who she finally have sex with. The next morning Samantha wakes up and listen to a phone message from Nikki. They decide to meet up and talk about what they should do next. The next morning Samantha feel very ill, and see a lot of blood coming from her toilet visits. She still go to work, but her illness is becoming worse. She goes to see a doctor who can´t explain what is going on, but he see no danger in the symptons. For each day Samantha´s body is becoming worse, and her mental statement is growing for the worse. She realise that she must have had this disease from the sex with the male stranger, but she needs to find a way to get well again, or she will not survive.

Contracted have an interesting view on sexual diseases. Of course this virus is not very believable, but watching actress Najarra Townsend is a disturbing experience. She does her character very well, as she is beginning to die from this disease. You can tell there is a limited budget here, but that´s not a problem. Director Eric England have actually done a good job trying to portrait a young woman´s journey, on her experience to become so ill. There are a few things that become a problem, like a strangling scene that looks silly. Or that the doctor does not feel like he knows what he is doing. Apart from this Contracted is an fascinating independent horror film, that try and show a different side of sexual diseases. I wish that there could have been some stronger characters than what we get here apart from Samantha. I did enjoy Katie Stegemans character also, maybe because she felt very natural. Contracted wont be found on dvd everywhere, so if you really want to see it i suggest watch it on VOD. This is a lesson to be learned kids, use condoms.

Rating: DDD

fredag 21 mars 2014

Out Of The Furnace

Does anyone remember the motion picture Crazy Heart ? Released in the year 2009, Jeff Bridges became praised all over the world, playing a drunk country singer, who lost his career many years ago. This is one of those motion pictures, where you get a very honest portait what fame can do to you. Even if you get a lot of money, and fans, does not mean you are happy with Life. The director of Crazy Heart, Scott Cooper, wrote the story and produced the movie. A lot of work doing all of this on his own, and he proved himself to be a very talented film maker. Christian Bale is one of the greatest english actors of all time. I could write a whole list of great motion Pictures he have starred in, he is simply fantastic in many motion pictures. American Psycho is without a doubt one of his greatest performances, it stands just as strong as it did 14 years ago. Out Of The Furnace is a thriller set in a small town, with a great cast like Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker and Sam Shepard. But that´s not all, this motion picture is also produced by Leonardo Di Caprio and Ridley Scott. Wow, a very impressive combination. Considering so many great names involved, is Out Of The Furnace a thriller worth your attention, or is this something most people will forget on the dvd shelves ?

Russell Baze ( Christian Bale ) is a hard worker at the North Braddock Steel Mill, trying to make a living. Russel meet his little brother Rodney Baze ( Casey Affleck ), at a horse racing simulcast. Rodney loose his bet, and Russel finds out Rodney own money to John Petty ( William Dafoe ), a bar owner who make many illegal business arrangments. Russel go and visit John to try and pay some of his Brothers debt, but John do not take his money, John says that Rodney have to try and solve this problem himself. Rodney have been to Iraq, serving the US Army and he is still depressed and angry about what happened over there. Russel try and help his brother, while their father Gerald Baze ( Bingo O´Malley ) is very ill, and have not long left to live. The same night Russel visit John, he drives home drunk. But tragic strikes, as Russel crash into another car and kill the passengers, including a child. Russel´s girlfriend Lena Warren ( Zoe Saldana ) leave him, as he is sent to prison. The years go by, and in prison Russel is informed his father have passed away. Rodney try and visit his brother when he can, Lena does not want to visit him. When Russel finally is released from prison, he decide to restore his fathers house, and fix all the problems that have not been taken care of. Russel also goes back to work at the Steel Mill. Rodney is happy to have his brother home, but when Russel finds out his brother is fighting for money, he becomes worried and angry. He suggest that Rodney should also get a job at the Steel Mill, Rodney refuse. Instead, Rodney is trying to fight even more, meeting much stronger fighters, who are set up by Harlan DeGroat ( Woody Harrelson ), a drug dealer who arrange fights. Harlan agree to let Rodney fight. The deal is that Rodney should loose, but when the fight is on, Rodney ignore the rule at first. This is not what Harlan agreed on, but Rodney still loose the fight. John, who helped Rodney to this fight, take him home. But on the highway, they both get stopped by Harlan and his men. Both are brutally killed. Police Chief Wesley Barnes ( Forest Whitaker ) inform Russel about his brother´s death. Russel begin to plan to revenge on his brother´s death.

Out Of The Furnace may not be a very original story, but i feel bad for director Scott Cooper, since this became a huge box office bomb last year. Because this is actually a good thriller about small town life and tragedies, with great acting, especially from Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, and William Dafoe. I dont think we will ever find out why people did not go and see this one, maybe the promotion was too bad, or maybe it was screened in just a few cinemas. Either way, this is a movie more people should check out. The story is not the strength, it is the acting from all these great actors, with characters who feel realistic. Great to see Willam Dafoe doing a dark character, he have that special look that fit perfect to a criminal. Director Scott Cooper proves once again that he can tell deep stories, in a very dark way. This is not as great as Crazy Heart, but i still feel that Out Of The Furnace is a thriller with much to say. One thing that i had a problem with, is the character of Forest Whitaker. Don´t get me wrong, he is a great actor, but here he feels kind of blend. A solid thriller, thanks to great acting,  i suggest you rent this one, or check it out on VOD.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 19 mars 2014

Instructions Not Included

Every year when we open a newspaper, we see new babies born into this world. Proud parents feel so much joy in their new child, it is simply one of the biggest moments in life to become a parent. But what if you never want to become responsible, and only have fun with young women, until you find out you made one pregnant ? Instructions Not Included is a spanish/mexican comedy that became a huge box office hit in many countries, taking in over 90 million dollars on a budget of 5 million dollars, impressive. We have seen many comedies before taking on the subject of becoming a parent, but maybe not very often we see from a male perspective. Director Eugenio Derbez is mostly known as an actor, but here we get to see his first feature film to direct, and he is also in the lead role. Considering this was such a big hit last year, i had to take a look at Instructions Not Included to see what this could be. Is this a fun comedy about becoming a parent from a male perspective, or is this another Jennifer Aniston type of motion picture where everything is too perfect ?

Valentin ( Eugino Derbez ) is a ladies man, sleeping with every women he can in Acapulco, Mexico. He still have nightmares about his dad forcing him to do things he is afraid of. One morning when he wakes up with 2 beautiful women next to him, his doorbell rings. Valentin opens the door, and there stands Julie ( Jessica Lindsey ) with a child. Julie was one of Valentin´s lovers, who thought he loved her. She says that this is his daughter, and he needs to take care of her. Valentin start to panic, he take care of a child ? Valentin knows Julia is going back to Los Angeles today, so he travels to the airport. It is too late, Julia have already left. Now he is forced to take care of his daughter, he finds out her name is Maggie. Suddenly Valentin have an idea, he will try and get into America illegal. He manage to get inside USA, and is looking for a hotel he have a picture of Julie working at. Turns out the hotel is in California, but the staff belive Julia is in New York. At the hotel, a movie director looking for a stuntman, become a witness when Valentin jump from a balchony, to save Maggie from drowning. He want to hire Valentin as a stuntman in an upcoming motion picture. Valentin agrees, mostly for the money. Maggie is growing up, and even if the hunt for Julia have paused, Valentin realise he must try and help his daughter have contact with Julia. Suddenly Julia shows up, and want to spend more time with her daughter. Will he be able to keep his daughter just as close as before, or is this the end of their special friendship ?

Since i read so many good reviews about Instructions Not Included, i had a feeling that everyone can´t be wrong, or were they wrong ? Not at all, this is a fun motion picture focusing on the relationship between a father and a daughter, helping each other through life. Eugiono Derbez is a great comedian actor, who tries to show us that even a spoiled unemployed adult can become someone better. The message is clear, even if something unexpected happens, deal with it and it will be fine. One of the great things with Instructions Not Included is that director Eugiono Derbez keep the spanish influences, and give the story a more european feeling. As most of us know, american comedies can sometimes be over the top. There are a couple of hysterical moments, but nothing that will damage the comedy quality. I only have one problem here, and that is the length of this movie. Almost 2 hours long, and they could have cut out a couple of scenes. Still, this is a fun and well made comedy that should appeal to all ages. I especially think new dads might recognize themselves here, life have some wonderful moments.

Rating: DDD

söndag 16 mars 2014

The Dirties

I think most people have been bully victims in different ways. Personally i was a bully victim between the age of 10 - 13, but maybe not in an ordinary way. Beaten with a baseball bat, kicked on, thrown naked out on a gym floor, these 3 years were a nightmare. Looking back i realise these were young people who had no self esteem, so they had to try and look cool and put someone shy down. So yes i was a victim of many terrible events. But even if these years were a nightmare, i came back and found my place in the world. So for anyone who have been a bully victim, i know what you have gone through. The Dirties is an independent film, made as an documentary about school bully victims, who plan to give revenge. Sounds like a very simple story, but director Kevin Smith liked this film so much, he choosed The Dirties in his personal film club, helping to promote The Dirties on movie festivals. After a long time, it has finally been released in more countries, and come out in even more countries this summer. Since the release, The Dirties have been praised by critics. Is this a powerful story about bully victims, or another one that most people will probably forget ?

Matt ( Matt Johnson ) and Owen ( Owen Williams ) are making a short film for a school project. They try and make their own version of Pulp Fiction, but in their own way. The problem is that they are both bully victims in their school, especially Matt. So while they are shooting their short film, they try to come up with a story where they revenge on the bullies, as they name them The Dirties. They are ready to show the school class their new short film The Dirties, but while they show it in class, people laugh at their short film. Matt take this very hard, and decide to show them that he is really serious. At one point, Owen find out that Matt have prints of the school building, showing every detail about their school. It seems like Matt is planning to revenge everyone who laughed at them, and use real weapons. Owen think this is a really bad idea, and finally become angry at Matt for taking this to the next level. Matt does not listen, he will revenge those who hurt him.

The Dirties have an interesting concept, even if the story is very small. How would you revenge on bullies ? Here we get a mixture of a different ideas put together as a short film, that try and give bully victims a way to strike back. Director Matt Johnson have tried to give us a view on how you can be as a victim, and your everyday struggle to try and get through the day. I could almost see myself there, as i was a victim in my youth. You can´t help to feel sad, especially for the character Matt, who may be a movie nerd, but he is just a teenager like anyone else. No matter where he goes, people want to beat him down. There is a deep sadness in The Dirties, where we get to ask ourselves the question, is it ok to revenge on those who bullied you ? Here we also get the issue of guns in America, since it is so easy to arm yourself and kill someone, in all ages. Director Matt Johnson have made a good debut feauture film, and i am looking forward to see what he will do next. The Dirties is an emotional motion picture, that will hopefully give a chance to show teenagers that everyone is unique, no matter what we look like or dress like. Considering this is almost made as an documentary, i would guess this is not for everyone. But i recommend you see The Dirties, you might react on how cruel people can be. 

Rating: DDD

lördag 8 mars 2014

Last Vegas

Good friends is important to have. Even if you move away from your hometown, or even into another country, friendship never dies. The best friends dont judge you for what you look like or if you are gay or straight, they accept you for who you are. So what if a group of old friends who are retired, go on a bachelor party in Las Vegas ? Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro are together on screen in this comedy, that is said to be a different version of The Hangover, for an older audience. The cast list is great, and director Jon Turtletaub ( who made classics like While You Were Sleeping and National Treasure ), is well known in the comedy genre. The combination sounds fun, so is Last Vegas a fun ride in the city of sin, or is it a desperate try to make another Hangover version with no content ?

Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam are childhood friends, who have a great time as young boys. As they grow older,  Billy Gherson ( Michael Douglas ) is getting married to his 31 year old girlfriend Lisa ( Bre Blair ). He begin to plan a bachelor party in Las Vegas, where the wedding will be held also. Billy call up Archie Clayton ( Morgan Freeman ) and Sam Harris ( Kevin Kline ). Both accept going with him to Las Vegas to have the best bachelor party ever. There is just one problem, if they can get Paddy Connors ( Robert De Niro ) to go with them. Paddy can never forgive Billy for not coming to his wife´s funeral, even if Billy have said he is sorry. But they make a decision, Billy, Archie and Sam travel to New York to convince Paddy to go along with them to Las Vegas. After some time Paddy agree to go with them, but he is still angry about Billy not coming to the funeral. As they arrive in Las Vegas, they end up in a bar listening to lounge bar singer Diana Boyle ( Mary Steenburgen ). The guys love her, especially Billy, but he tells her that he is about to get married. As the bachelor party is being prepared, Billy begin to think if he really loves Lisa, or maybe he just felt alone ? The party is about to start, but is everyone ready for the night of their lives ?

As i mentioned earlier, this have been said to be another version of The Hangover. And yes you could say it is. But of course not as wild as The Hangover. Is this still funny though ? Yes i had a good time. The combination of actors worked very well, where everyone show different sides of themselves. I suppose the charm in this is that no matter if you get old, you don´t have to stop living. And this message works well in Last Vegas, these men try and have a great time. There are plenty of fun scenes, so i don´t need to tell everything that happens, but i must warn you. An old grandmother shakes her booty in a wet t shirt contest, and i almost got blind after that. Director Jon Turtletaub tries to show that it is never too late, live life like it is your last day alive. There is nothing original here, but who cares ? As a comedy, Last Vegas deliver a good time for all ages, so why complain about anything ? Invite friends over to a dinner, and watch this one, i guarantee you will have a good time, and maybe even remember some good times from your earlier years.

Rating: DDD

fredag 7 mars 2014


Everyone will eventually grow old. But does life stop just because you are becoming old ? Not at all. This is a chance to do things you never had time to do, while working and raising a family. I just look at my grandfather, over 80 years old and still travelling. I would say he is a role model, he proves that age does not matter, do whatever you want to do, no matter what people think. As long as you are clear and not have alzheimers, there is nothing that can stop you from living life. Director Alexander Payne, who have delivered some really great motion pictures like Sideways and The Descendants, is back with a brand new motion picture named Nebraska. If you have seen his previous praised movies, he seems to continue tell deep stories, like Nebraska. The story of an old man, played by legenary actor Bruce Dern, was nominated for 6 Academy Awards just a few days ago. Nebraska did not win any Academy Awards, but Bruce Dern did win at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the award for best male actor. Considering how great some of Alexander Payne previous movies are, does Nebraska go up there on top, or is this a movie just as slow as Elisabeth Höglund ?

Woody Grant ( Bruce Dern ) is walking on a highway in Billings, Montana. A police officer pick him up and take him down to the police station. They call Woody´s son David Grant ( Will Forte ) to pick his father up. Woody claims he won a million dollars in a lottery, and show David his letter. It says he have to pick up the prize in Nebraska. David try to explain that this is just a fraud, and no real money. Woody´s wife Kate Grant ( June Squibb ) is worried about Woody, and say she don´t know what to with her old bastard. While David is working in a electronic store, his mother Kate calls. Woody is going to Nebraska and have planned to drive there. Problem is he can´t drive anymore. David´s brother Ross Grant ( Bob Odenkirk ), discuss with David if they need to put Woody in a retirement home. David decide to take his dad to Nebraska, just so he can see he did not win all that money. Woody is really happy about this road trip. As they go along on this journey, they get a chance to see relatives on the way, and old friends of Woody. But when Woody start telling everyone he won a million dollars, problems become very clear, when greedy people want to get some of that money.

It is not often you get to see a motion picture filmed entirely in black and white. And it is not often you get to see a motion picture showing small american cities that are dying out, when people move because there are no jobs, and nothing to stay there for. Nebraska show a deep story of an old man´s last big journey, when he realise this is something he needs to do. Bruce Dern have never been better, he is so good as Woody, that there is no question why he was worth winning best male performance at the Cannes Film Festival. June Squibb is really good as Woody´s wife Kate, she found the perfect balance of a tired mother, who is sick of her husband running away. Director Alexander Payne show once again why he is one of the greatest american story directors, almost everytime he have something to tell you, he does in a very powerful way. Nebraska may be a very simple story, but the heart warming message is clear, never give up your dreams. You don´t get to see that many motion pictures that take on the subject of old people, to show a life from their perspective. But Nebraska really show us that everyone have a chance to take a chance, you have nothing to loose. Stacy Keach is here also, as the greedy Ed Pegram. This could actually be the best performance he have ever done. Nebraska is one of the few motion pictures that is so simple, but so powerful, that you sit there and feel very pleased with this emotional story. Make sure you buy a ticket, Nebraska should be seen by a wider audience.

Rating: DDDD