måndag 29 september 2014

Rampage: Capital Punishment

Say the name Uwe Boll to most movie critics, and they will feel sick. As long as i can remember, each motion picture he directed, or produced, have been panned by almost every film critic. Is there a reason why ? Yes, he makes films om very limited budgets, with actors most people never heard of. I actually have about 10 dvd´s from Uwe Boll in my movie collection, because i love B films, and i love cheesy dialogue. If you have not seen his movie adaption of the video game Far Cry, you simply have to see it. It might actually help you appreciate life even more. ven if there are films that Uwe Boll made, that i did not enjoy as much as Far Cry, or Bloodrayne, there is one film that actually changed people´s opinions about him as a director. In 2009, he released a film called Rampage, about a man who is sick of the system, of how the government is using people, that the world is over populated. He choose to fight back, killing people on the streets. The film was actually good for being an Uwe Boll film, much better directed, and a better plot than most of his films. It was fun to read some film critics giving Uwe Boll positive reviews for Rampage, because that would never happen in his earlier films. I think Rampage have an important message, that anyone disturbed enough, could decide to kill people, and follow his vision. We have already seen what some people are capable of, school massacres, kindergarten shootings, murders of old people, the list goes on. Rampage showed us what could happen, and we all know the shootings will never stop, unless we do something about this. Uwe Boll have made sequels of many of his own films, but when i heard Rampage 2 is coming out i actually got excited. The first film actually had something important to say, so does this sequel follow in the same positive steps as the first film, or is this a sequel we will soon have forgotten ?

Bill Williamson ( Brendan Fletcher ) have stayed hidden for years, since he killed hundreds of people in a massacre. Even if he survived, he is not finished with his mission. This time he want more people to hear his message, so he decide to take hostages in a tv network. News anchor man Chip Parker ( Lochlyn Munro ) is taken hostage, along with his co workers. Bill want Chip to arrange a live broadcast, so Bill can tell the world on camera what he feels, and think about society. Police barricade the building, as they need to get the hostage out, and make sure no more people are killed. Bill have everything planned, and is not going to let anyone stop him from delivering his message to the world.

If you are not a fan of Uwe Boll, you might as well stop reading here. But if you did enjoy Rampage, this sequel could possibly please you. The fact is that you should see the first film, to understand the premise, since this sequel picks up what happened since last time. One difference in this sequel, is that i get a feeling Uwe Boll have tried to get deeper into the disturbed mind of Bill Williamson. There is plenty of violence, like in the first film, but somehow the action scenes have improved. Usually sequels to a good film is hard to make, in most cases many of them fail. However, Rampage: Capital Punishment manage to deliver, both as an action film, but also the message of how disturbed some people are. I can agree that socíety is wrong, and that government use people for their own advantage, but killing people is not the answer. Just like the first film, this shows how vulnerable we can be, if someone decide to clean up, to make the world a better Place. From a story perspective, there is not a lot of changes made, we simply get what we would expect. Still, as a sequel i would still say that this is a good one, as the story follow the previous film in a good way. Lead actor Brendan Fletcher make his character Bill Williamson look mentally unstable, and that is not easy to do as an actor. He tries to show us how one person can cause so much damage, even if he is on his own. Some of the messages that come across, about how rich people control everything, including us ordinary workers feels realistic. The fact is that we are being used, for their own purposes. Uwe Boll is also in this film, acting as a producer for a news anchor personality. He does not really help the film, but the final result is that this is a good sequel. In a movie industry where everything is driven by money and box office numbers, we need directors like Uwe Boll to keep making his films. Rampage: Capital Punishment may not give us something different, but the message is clear, and that makes it all worth watching. Politicians should maybe take a look, and have something to think about.

Rating: DDD

Autumn is here, how about some more sexy movie reviews ?

Summer is definitely over, and i will say we had some great motion pictures this summer, and some that did not fit my taste. So, with that said, i think it is time we continue to make some more sexy movie reviews, because as you people know, only i can write sexy reviews. I can garantee that Josh Hartnett will agree on that.

Since we are moving in a colder, and more rainy period, at least here in Scandinavia, i will be writing some very mixed genre film reviews during this autumn. Instead of writing a list of the titles, i will let them be surprises, so you don´t know what to expect.

Thank you for the support i get, people seem to enjoy my reviews. Hopefully you will enjoy the upcoming reviews also.

Cheers from Daniel

fredag 26 september 2014

The Calling

When i was a little boy, we used to visit my grandparents in a small community called Bengtsfors. This was like a typical village, with just a few stores, 2 food super markets, a bank, a bakery, and some other ordinary shops. My grandfather took his bicycle in on certain days, to shop the same groceries as he always bought. If you went to the center of Bengtsfors, you would meet the same old men, sitting there, talking about everything new in the community. Since nothing ever happened in Bengtsfors, small events could mean everything to the people who lived there. Small communities are still around, all over Sweden, even if some of them have lost a lot of people living there. Simply because there are no jobs left, so people have to move. Since i moved to the north of Sweden in 2007, i have noticed that there are many small communities up here, that remind me of Bengtsfors. I can visit these small communities, but i would never want to live there. I am a city boy and always will be. There are many motion pictures that takes place in smaller communities, or smaller cities. The masterpiece Fargo is one example, where the small town feeling found a very honest portrait. Plenty of motion Pictures have tried to capture the that feeling with varied results. The Calling is a new thriller drama, with legendary actor Susan Sarandon in the lead role as a small town police inspector. I have always liked Susan as an actor, because she have a lot of classic performances from her past, especially in Dead Man Walking, a film everyone should have seen by now. Is The Calling another proof that Susan Sarandon is still one of the best female actors, or did she choose a film that did not match her acting quality ?

Police inspector  Hazel Micallef ( Susan Sarandon ) is a tough woman, who belive that being honest is the best thing to be, and always get the job done. When an old woman is found dead, brutally murdered in her home, an investigation begins on the suspect. While the investigation is going, Hazel is tired of listening to her mother Emily ( Ellen Burstyn ), who lives in the same house as Hazel. Emily is worried about her daughter, that she used to be happy, but is nowdays depressed. Trying to focus on the investigation, Hazel try and ignore her mothers advices. Another dead body is found, this time with the stomache removed. The police force of small town Fort Dundas suddenly get support, from a newly moved police officer Ben Wingate ( Topher Gace ), including Fort Dundas detective Ray Green ( Gil Bellows ). Ben seem to find clues that this killer is trying to tell them a message in latin, with the help of the victims mouths. Hazel try to find out what the latin words means, with the help of church. Father Price ( Donald Sutherland ) knows latin, as he translate the message. Hazel is sure that this is a serial killer, who follows a certain pattern, as more victims are in danger. Who is this person, and why did he choose this small town for his brutal murders ?
The Calling is a thriller drama, that moves slow. That might be a sign that you could fall asleep. Some people might actually do that, if they prefer intensive thrillers, although i am not one of them. This is actually not a bad motion picture, thanks to Susan Sarandon. This is without a doubt her performance that make The Calling work in this genre, with a different actor this might have failed. The murder mystery is not hard to figure out, since the murderer is revealed quite early in the film. Thankfully what makes the plot work, is the investigation that is very unusual in a small town like this one. People never got murdered here before, so now everything changes as people realise that no one is safe. There are plenty of films that remind us of The Calling, and there is nothing original here. Still i would like to say, this is a nice try to make a smaller film, with some nice cast surprises, like Donald Sutherland and Topher Grace. Director Jason Stone have directed short films in the past, but this is his first feauture film. Even though i can see some details he could have improved, i still enjoy the story of these murders in this small town. I would like to see what director Jason Stone decide to direct next time, i have a feeling he could do something better than this, if he finds the right script. Still, for a feature film, this is a good thriller drama, in a very easy format. If you enjoyed Peter Stormare in Small Town Murder Songs, this could be something for you, even if these 2 films are different. Put some tea water on heat, bring out some biscuits, The Calling will make your evening cozy.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 16 september 2014


You can tell that film makers are running out of ideas. Just look what is coming out next year...

Beverly Hills Cop 4

Taken 3

Fast And The Furious 7

And the list goes on. My point is that original films are not seen by a wider audience, since these box office releases get more attention. For example, how many of you saw Safety Not Guaranteed in a cinema ? A film that should have been a bigger hit, if the audience knew what the film was about. So i try and look outside the biggest box office releaes sometimes, and watch smaller films also. A film that recently was released on dvd and blu ray in Sweden, called Nebraska, is a very good choice. I actually saw it in the cinema, but we were only 7 people there. Such a shame not more people don´t sponsor these smaller films by buying a ticket, they need to be made. So my advice, go rent Nebraska, or even buy it, Bruce Dern is absolutely brilliant as the old senile man. About 5 months ago, while looking around at the new films coming out from film festivals, one title got on my mind straight away. A film simply called Frank. This is a fictional story inspired by the character Frank Sidebottom, and the comic persona of Chris Sievey. The image of a man wearing a huge mask head, that looks very odd, made me curious what this could be. Especially when i found out Michael Fassbender was the lead role as Frank, since his really good performance in Shame showed what a talented actor he is. With a praised director, and a great lead actor, is Frank a film that gives a lot of joy, or is this a film that have been praised too much, for no reason at all ?

Jon ( Domhnall Gleeson ) is a young musician, who hope to write songs that will hopefully be discovered. One day, while walking close to a beach, he sees a man trying to drown himself. This man is a keyboard player in the band Soronprfbs. Since the keyboard player is in no shape to play more music, Jon is invited to play in the band. Jon meets Frank ( Michael Fassbender ), the lead singer with an enormous head. Frank never remove his head, he eat thanks to liquid food, that he sucks from straws. Frank´s partner Clara ( Jake Gyllenhaal ) does not like Jon, and hope he will not stay. The band travel to the countryside to begin recording their new album. After much work, and frustrating problems, the album is finished. But suddenly Jon find band member Don ( Scoot McNairy ) dead, hanged himself in a tree. The band members and Frank are depressed over this tragic event, but decide to go on tour in America, since they have been invited to play in South West, Texas. Frank is unstable, and Clara think she knows what Frank need, and what the band needs to succeed. Jon is still sure his ideas could be what they need to succeed in America.

I feel so much joy right now after watching Frank. There are not many times you get a feelgood comedy drama that deliver so much at the same time. Michael Fassbender as Frank is absolutely splendid, and really strange, and i love it. If he does not get an award for his performance in any of the film awards coming next year, i will personally beat the jury with a microphone stand. To act this good behind a big head mask is not an easy task. But Fassbender finds his own way to show us how much a body can say, without ordinary face expressions. But there are many more great actors in the cast who do their characters really well. Domhnall Gleeson as the keyboard player Jon is really good, and let´s not forget Maggie Gyllenhaal as the psycho bitch Clara, this could be her best performance in years. Director Lenny Abrahamson is a very respected film maker from Ireland, who have made 3 irish films in the past, who all have been praised for being very emotional. I have not seen any of his earlier work, but after watching Frank i feel bad for not seeing anything he did in the past. Frank is such a great motion picture, you wonder if anything will be better than this during this autumn. The songs are sometimes odd, but beautiful and make the film feel more alive. Once they band start the recording of their album, you can tell they are trying to make the songs feel alive, and honest. Almost like there are influences by The Doors, and Frank can be seen as a new odd version of Jim Morrison. Director Lenny Abrahamson have made a film that will be loved by many people, who love intelligent films. Frank is a mix of everything, a bizarre story on life, where you never know what is going to happen. I have a feeling that Frank might be one of the best films this year, but until i have seen Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal, i can´t say i know the answer yet. But you have to see Frank, this is such a good film that i can watch it over and over again. That does not happen often.

Rating: DDDD

måndag 15 september 2014


Greek mythological tales have many classic legends, that still today is told about in books, tv programs and of course in motion pictures. Different historical figures have been made into historical films, with very different results. I think we can all agree that Clash Of The Titans ( the remake ) did not give the greek mythology any respect, it was all about trying to milk out money, with some bad special effects. Even if Wrath Of The Titans did not reach high enough, it was still better than the first film. Earlier this year director Renny Harlin released his own version of the Classic greek tale of Hercules. With a film title of The Legend Of Hercules, you might Think that this would be an action feast, considering the director of Die Hard 2 is on board. Well, not quite. You see, this was a proof that a lot of problems were obvious, no plot, no great actors ( except for Scott Adkins, but he did not do his role very well either ), and nothing interesting to bring to this legendary tale. The Legend Of Hercules was a box office bomb, and there was a good reason for that. Although i saw that dvd sales have been good in America, so i guess people discovered it later on. Director Brett Ratner, mostly known for his Rush Hour Movies, as well as his praised film Red Dragon ( the prequel to both The Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal ). Red Dragon was actually really good, and a more serious film than the earlier work of Brett Ratner, so i was really surprised that he could do this so well. Even if he does not direct as often as he used to do, he is now back with his own version of Hercules. This time with the action star Dwayne " The Rock " Johnson in the lead role, is this a worthy tribute to the legendary tale of Hercules, or just another release we will soon forget ?

Hercules ( Dwayne Johnson ) is the leader of a mercenary team, including prophet Amphiaraus ( Ian McShane ), thief Autolycos ( Rufus Sewell ), Amazon archer Atlanta ( Ingrid Bolsø Berdal ) and Hercules nephew Iolaus ( Reece Ritche ). The mercenary team are approached by Ergenia ( Rebecca Ferguson ). Her father Lord Cotys ( John Hurt ) want Hercules to train the the armies of Thrace. Lord Cotys belive that only Hercules can help them defend their kingdom from blood thirsty warlord Rheseus ( Tobias Santlemann ). Hercules agree with his mercenary team to train the army, but only if they are payed in gold. The Thrace army is now becoming trained for battle, and Hercules finally see that their training is developing, after some difficult situations. To test the Thrace army, they are send to defeat local barbarians, to prove themselves if they can survive on the battlefield. Rheseus is captured and taken as prisoner to Thrace. Here he is tortured, and humiliated. Hercules mercenaries belive that the mission is now over, but Hercules have doubts about the situation. Something is not true within the kingdom of Thrace. He finds out that Lord Coyts have not told the whole truth, as King Eurystheus ( Joseph Fiennes ) is responsible for the death of Hercules family, who were brutally murdered years ago. King Eurystheus work together with Lord Coyts. Since they captured the whole team of Hercules, King Eurystheus order that Ergenia should be executed, Hercules manage to get out. Now he must help his team members, and revenge those who lied to him.

Well folks, i guess i need to confess something. This is actually a good motion picture about Hercules. I am not saying that this is one of the best greek mythological based films, but compared to some of the earlier releases about Hercules, director Brett Ratner actually manage to do something good, both with the legend, and with the storyline. Dwayne " The Rock " Johnson does not do a bad performance either, he is actually fit for this role, even if his acting abilities are limited. Another detail i enjoy are the battle scenes, brutal and they are needed in a story like this. The story based on the comic graphic novel Hercules : The Thracian Wars. Since i have not read that novel, i can´t say if the transformation to a feature film is made as it should be. Instead, i try to see this film for what it is. An historical action film, for those who enjoy muscles, swords and historical stories. Brett Ratner is known for his action genre in the past, i have heard that fans of X-Men are disappointed with his version in X-Men: The Last Stand. I can agree that it is not the greatest sequel, still not a disaster that some people called it. I have seen much worse comic book adaptions made into feature films. Since this is the first time Brett Ratner directs a historical based film, i have to say he manage to find a good balance between good looking action scenes, and an important message about humanity. Hercules does not give us anything fresh, or anything original. Still, i would say this is a good action film, for the audience who appreciate this genre. There are some acting in here that is not very impressive from certain actors, but apart from that i would say you will most likely have a good time. Anyone who want to join me battle some greeks ? I know, i am about 3000 years too late, but i just want to have some fun and chop some heads off.....instead of watching Say Yes To The Dress on TLC.....that show makes you want to use the sword on yourself.

Rating: DDD

söndag 14 september 2014

At The Devil´s Door

To those who say Twilight is horror, let me explain what horror is supposed to be.

# Demons hungry for flesh
# Possessed humans
# Creepy sound effects
# Some nice flesh wounds

And the list goes on, depending on what kind of horror film we are talking about. I still hear people say that Twilight have horror influences......uhhm....really ? I would rather call them TGTSNHBM ( Teenage Garbage That Should Never Have Been Made ). Even if the film series finished, we keep getting new films that look almost like another Twilight copy. Thankfully i have a much better taste in horror, and have a feeling what could be interesting. Sometimes i am wrong of course, a trailer is no guarantee that a film is good, even how good it looks. I am interested in new horror releases, especially the ones who come out of film festivals, who are not big budget films, but made on a limited budget. There are plenty of new titles every year, some are ok, some are bad, but then we have some really good ones that have something for the horror audience, who are looking for some quality. Take a title like Dead Snow: Red Vs Dead, the best Scandinavian splatter horror film i have seen in many years. So many great splatter scenes and funny zombie moments, you simply fall in love. This is just an example, there are plenty of titles out there worth to mention. But let´s go back in time for a moment. In 2012 director Nicholas McCarthy released his praised horror film The Pact. Movie critics loved the style of director Nicholas McCarthy, who on a limited budget, could make a very effective horror motion picture. To see actor Casper Van Dien do a performance where he was actually ok, was a big surprise. Let´s just say he is not known for his actor abilities. 2 years later, we now have the latest film from director Nicholas McCarthy, who continue in the horror genre, this time with a different story. Is his latest film At The Devil´s Door another quality horror film, or is this a disappointment for the fans of The Pact ?

The year is 1987. Hanna ( Ashley Richards ) is making out with her boyfriend. He suggest she should visit a man he knows, living in a trailer, who pays 500 dollars if you play a Shell game. Hanna suceed and wins the money. The man says she have now been chosen, and must go down the road, and say her real name, where the roads meet. She does what she is told. Later that night as she is listening to music, he closet opens. She knows she closed it last time, so take a look. An evil spirit takes over Hanna´s body. Present day. Real estate agent Leigh ( Catalina Sandino Moreno ), travels to a house that couple Chuck ( Dan Roureback ) and Royanna ( Jan Broberg ) are trying to sell. While Leigh was looking around, she noticed a young girl, watching over Leigh. She asks the couple who this young girl it might be. It turns out that this is their daughter, who they claimed runned away. Leigh is fascinated by this young girl, and begin to visit her home. She confront Hanna, but she seems very strange, like something happened to her. Leigh decide to find out more about her, and what happened. She finds a newspaper article, claiming Leigh is dead. This makes no sense at all, so Leigh decide to find the answer. But ever since Leigh begin digging deeper for the truth, she ends up dead after a demon visit her. Leigh´s sister Vera ( Naya Rivera ) is informed about her sisters death. Vera knows that her sister was healthy, as they say she died of a natural course. While digging for answers, Vera is about to find out what is really going on, or is she ?                    

Great news everyone. Director Nicholas McCarthy have proved himself to get better in this genre, and At The Devil´s Door is a proof of that. The creepy sound effects make the film feel more frightening, instead of lots of special effects. This is a very influenced film, with ingredients from Insidious, but at the same time original enough to stand on it´s own. If you were hoping for jump scares like in The Conjuring, you might be dissapointed. But i will say this. At The Devil´s Door is actually one of the better horror films i have seen lately, because it does not borrow the same formula as many other releases do. There is something unpleasant about not knowing what is going on, and why these women end up dead. You only get hints, and still it is difficult to know the plot completely. I enjoyed director Nicholas McCarthy´s earlier film The Pact, because this was also a horror fílm build on suspension. He continues to do so again, but i would still say i enjoy At The Devil´s Door more than The Pact. You can tell that there are similarities between these 2 films, but they are still different enough to say they both have some quality to offer the audience. Actress Ashley Richards is actually one of the strongest characters in this film. Her presence on screen feels natural, and she is great as the young, confused Hanna. The strength of At The Devil´s Door is the feeling that no one knows what is going on. Sometimes this is a much more powerful tool, than really well made special effects. I recommend you watch this one on VOD, until the dvd release, you might actually be surprised.

Rating: DDD

måndag 8 september 2014

The Expendables 3

My childhood had both great moments, and some really tough moments, that i had to get out off. I managed to do so, thanks to certain people who believed in me, and for that i will always be gratefull. Another part of my childhood that i never forget, are the glorious days of video violence. Ah yes, those wonderful cheesy ninja films, military action films, or even cyborg cop movies that could make the worst day feel better. I must have seen several hundreds of B movies, in the 80´s and 90´s, and i just loved seeing the really cheesy ones. Bad acting, bad special effects, and sometimes it included naked girls, and lots of flesh wounds. Thankfully some film makers still do B movies and try to keep the industry going on limited budget. This is the way most of the classic action stars, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Chuck Norris and many others started from. On very limited budget they all made classic action films, that can still be enjoyed today. As they all got bigger in Hollywood, the budget increased, and made more action films. Today, the industry have changed, and we have noticed that the old school action stars are not as big as they used to be. Except for 2 films, and we are talking about The Expendables. To gather around action film stars of the 80´s and a new generation action personalities, showed that we can still enjoy classic video violence action, in a bigger production value. In the first Expendables movie, Sylvester Stallone directed himself, and showed us how talented he is in this genre. It became a huge box office success, and the audience loved seeing a huge cast classic actors kicking ass together. In The Expendables 2, director Simon West took over, and gave us the best Expendables film so far. It was an action feast with so much fun dialogue, so much violence, that i simply called it one of the best films of 2012. The Expendables 2 became a huge box office hit, especially in the rest of the world, while in Usa the film did not do as well as the first one. So here we go, with the third sequel in our hands. This time director Patrick Hughes took on the job to direct The Expendables 3, who directed a much smaller film in 2010 called Red Hill, that was praised by critics. Since this is the first time Patrick tries this genre, does he give The Expendables 3 all that we hoped for, or is he the wrong person for a film in this category ?

The Expendables crew Barney Ross ( Sylvester Stallone ), Lee Christmas ( Jason Statham ), Gunnar Jensen ( Dolph Lundgren ) and Toll Road ( Randy Couture ) are on a mission to free former Expendables member Doctor Death ( Wesley Snipes ) on a well armed train prison transport. They succeed, as Doctor Death is happy to be released out in the free. But he is not completely free yet, Barney have a mission waiting in Somalia, where they need his help. In Somalia, a shipment of bombs is expected to be delivered to a warlord. Barney and his team strike against this army, with the help of Hale Caesar ( Terry Crews ), handling the boat transortation. The mission seems to be going well, until Barney discover who is behind this bomb shipment. It is his old enemy Conrad Stonebanks, who he thought was dead. Turns out that was a lie, as he tries to kill him. Conrad escape, but shoot Hale so he is badly injured. Taken to a hospital, Hale will not be able to get out of the hospital for a long time. Barney gather his team at their favourite bar, to tell them that this is over. Christmas is furious, why Barney want to split the team. Still, Barney have made up his mind. Barney meet CIA operative Max Drummer ( Harrison Ford ), where Max gove Barney an order to catch Conrad alive, so he can be brought to the Hague International Criminal Court, where he will stand trial for all his crimes on humanity. To do this, Barney needs a new Expendables team, with the help of retired mercenary Bonaparte ( Kelsey Grammer ) who knows where they can find the right people. Barney recruit the new following members ex-Marine John Smilee ( Kellan Lutz ),  nightclub bouncer Luna ( Ronda Rousey ), computer expert Thorn ( Glen Powell ) and weapons expert Mars ( Victor Ortiz ). One more man wish to join the team, Galgo ( Antonio Banderas ), a former member of the Spanish Armed Forces. But Barney turn him down, and say they don´t need him. As the team travel to Romania, to catch Conrad during a business deal with Albanian mafia leader Goran Vata ( Robert Davi ), the mission goes as planned and they have Conrad captured. But the mission fails, when their prison transport is attacked by Conrad´s team. The new Expendables team is captured as prisoners, while Barney falled down a bridge during an explosion into water. He survives, but his team is now prisoners in the hands of Conrad. He have no choice, he need to locate his team members with the help of Galgo, and his old team.

I actually went to see the swedish gala premiere in Stockholm, winning 2 tickets to see The Expendables 3 with famous swedish people. Free hamburgers, free beer and free wine, what more could you ask for ? I even got to meet Sweden´s biggest film critic Ronny Svensson, a great guy. Now, let´s talk about The Expendables 3 for a moment. I was really excited to see if the third film would keep the nostalgic feeling that the previous films have done. I am happy to say that this sequel delivers, in it´s own way. But there is something missing here. Remember all that wonderful massive violence scenes from the previous films ? There still are some amazing action sequences, but it is not at the same level as The Expendables 2, this means less blood, less brutality, and this is a mistake. One reason why this changed is because there was a decision to make this film Pg-13. There is plenty of violence ( in some scenes ), but in a film like The Expendables, we want to see bodies filled with 350 bullets, broken body parts and extreme fight scenes. Still, if you look at what is new in The Expendables 3, we get more comedy and a new cast, including Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz and any more. This give The Expendables 3 a different approach, that actually works well. Especially Mel Gibson as the bad guy Conrad Stonebanks. Antonio Banderas is hysterical really, as the very energetic Galgo, and give some really funny scenes. Even if i like seeing Ronda Rousey kicking ass, one thing is for sure. She needs to work on her acting, it becomes a bit dull to hear her say one line:- Men. She does this in 2 scenes where she is kicking down men, and it is not really that funny. Thankfully we get to have a good time with the old cast, with Stallone, Statham, Schwarzenegger, Dolph, Crews, including the new member Wesley Snipes who does a good performance. Compared to the previous Expendables films, i am a little bit dissapointed. But hey, i had a great time with The Expendables 3 for what it is, an action film for old school fans. And great that so many new classic actors joined in, that helps the film give some more quality. Director Patrick Hughes surprised me, that he managed to make this his own version of The Expendables, but kept some ingredients from the past. I wish he could have improved some details, but i still think he did a great job. There are discussions about a 4th film, i would not be surprised if we get to see the gang again, even if this third film failed at the box office ticket sales. I suggest you go and see The Expendables 3, if you want to have a good time. I am not sure if i should give a 3 or a 4 in rating, but my heart says 4 because The Expendables is guaranteed a great time for all ages. I feel like exploding some russian camps with a chopper, anyone want to join me ? There is free vodka included, after we killed some terrorists of course. By the way, don´t touch my machete, i might need it if Jehova´s Witnesses attack us.

Rating: DDDD

söndag 7 september 2014

Friended To Death

Parking officers, the most hated people on earth it seems. We constantly see them in every city, checking so you follow the law. There are some nice ones out there, just doing their job. Then we have the arrogant ones who loves to make people angry. Either way, this is a job that is needed, to make some order over people who try and care less about how long you can park. So what if you have a parking officer who loves to take pictures on his Facebook page, on his victims, constantly, and make fun of the people he give a ticket ? This is one of the subjects in Friended To Death, a new comedy by director Sarah Smick, mostly known as an actor in smaller films like This Is Life and Here´s The Kicker. Frended To Death is her second feature film as a director. Another subject that is brought up here is, what if you faked your own death to see how many show up at your funeral ? Sounds very weird indeed, but reading about the plot, and to see lead actor Ryan Hansen in a very different character than he have ever done before, got me hooked up. Is Friended To Death a new dark comedy that have something to offer, or is this another release that no one will remember ?

Michael Harris ( Ryan Hansen ) is a parking officer, who is always ready to make sure parking tickets will be placed on every guilty car. To make fun of everyone who have a ticket, he takes pictures of their cars and make fun of them. One day at the head building for parking officers, Michael´s boss Chuck Hensson ( Robert R. Shafer ) call him in to his office. Because of his behavior, posting car pictures on Facebook, and making fun of people he give tickets, Chuck have no choice but to fire Michael from his job. Outside the building, Michael is furious. He meets Emile Lewis ( James Immekus ) out on the street, who is also fired from his parking officer job. Emile is also depressed about losing his job, but offer Michael to go along for a drink. But suddenly Michael see on Facebook, that one of his oldest friends Joel ( Zach McGowan ) had a party without inviting Michael. Just to find out why, Michael go to Joel for answers, but leave upset. Michael hope to find some comfort, so he goes to see Emile to have a conversation. Michael begins to think, what if he fake his own death, who many people would care ? Emile think this is a crazy idea, but Michael decide to do this, just to see how many real friends he have. Michael use Emile´s Facebook profile to write that Michael is dead. But what Michael did not plan, is how he is supposed to be dead, so people really belive he is no longer alive.

Friended For Death is a smaller film, so if you are expecting a bigger production with lots of famous actors, you are in the wrong place. On the other hand, if you like to see smaller films, with an odd message, this might be a film for you. Some might say that lead actor Ryan Hansen have chosen a very strange way, going from big productions as GI Joe: Retaliation and the 2009 remake of Friday The 13th, to a very small film like Friended To Death. From my personal view, it feels like he have done a very daring move. Most actors whould not go this way, unless they know they will get another role safely. I think this is a very daring choice, even if Friended For Death did not screen in many countries. Sometimes you have to take risks, if you choose a film that you like. Friended For Death is a very bizarre mix of dark comedy, that takes on social media on the internet, how it effect us, to be loved by people. The best part of Friended For Death is the character Michael Harris, a man with very few friends, but he still thinks he is really awsome. He is kind of nerdy, and odd, but at the same time you can´t avoid feel sorry for him. The negative part is that some of the other actors, are not very good. You can tell some of them are not professional actors yet, but it does not affect the final result of the film. Director Sarah Smick have some really funny ideas on the table, some of them works pretty well, while some others don´t get the chance to shine, as i would have hoped for. Overall, i would still say i had a good time watching Friended For Death, because i like odd comedies, and we need more of this in new films. The dvd release is on the way, so you can watch Friended For Death on VOD on several web sites. If you like odd comedies, with dark humour, then Friended For Death is a good choice.

Rating: DDD

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Apes are very fascinating animals. If you think about it, they can learn so many things, almost like a human. There are of course differences between us, but i would not be suprised if humans are developed from an ape species, millions of years ago. Different scientists and studies made, can tell us more about what apes are capable of doing. Even if apes may never be just like humans, we do have some things in common. In 1968, director Franklin J. Shaeffner released his sci fi apocalyptic motion picture Planet Of The Apes. The film became a huge success, and also made a big impact on both movie critics and the audience. Planet Of The Apes even won an Academy Award , for best make up, thanks to make up artist John Chambers. Looking back, you might think the make up looks old now, but i have to say for that period of time, he did a wonderful job. Charlton Heston in the lead role gave this motion picture some star quality, since he was a very popular actor in those days. Sequels followed, as many as 4 ones in the 70´s. There was even a tv series made with the same title as the original film. But the popularity was not as big as it used to be, so no more movies were made, or no more season of the tv series. Not intil the year 2001. Director Tim Burton, decided to remake the original film, into his own version. That was not a good idea.....The biggest problem with Tim Burtons remake is that it had nothing interesting to give the audience. Plenty of action, but with acting that you did not want to see. 10 years later director Rupert Wyatt took on a reboot of the franchise, with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. The biggest difference this time, is that Rupert actually knew what he was doing, and made a great film. James Franco in the lead role was a very good choice, and of course Andy Serkins as the ape Caesar. The special effects were amazing, including a great plot. When i heard rumours about a sequel, i was hoping it could continue the quality of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, or even improve some details. Is this sequel worthy the reboot in 2011, or should it have been left alone and not been made at all ?

The ALZ-113 virus have spread so fast, that it wipes out most of the human civilization, leaving just some groups of survivors. Ten years later, in San Fransisco, ape leader Caesar ( Andy Serkins ) live in the forest area with the remaining ape forces, trying to stay away from the human world. While some of the apes are Walking in the forest, they spot a human named Carver ( Kirk Acevedo ). Carver panick as apes confront him, and he shoots Ash ( Doc Shaw ), one of Caesar´s sons. Caesar is furious, and warn the friends of Carver, led by Malcolm ( Jason Clarke ). to stay away from their forest, and they do not want war. Malcolm talks to another group leader Dreyfus, who have built an army of human survivors, to be prepared to do anything if they are attacked. Malcolm have an idea, since none of them have any electrical power, they need to get a hydroelectric dam working, so they can have electric power back. But this dam is located outside the city, in the forest are of the apes, so Malcolm need to find a way to make a deal with Caesar. At first Caesar is very skeptical, but eventually agree. But all weapons must be removed, or the deal is off. The work on the dam has begun, but after a few unstable moments, Caesar´s wife  Cornelia ( Judy Greer ) is very sick, and she needs medicine. Luckily one of Malcom´s team members Ellie ( Kerri Russel ) is a nurse and give Cornelia antibiotics. Caesar´s companion Koba ( Toby Kebbell ) discover the humans armory, and question Caesar how he can trust the humans. A fight begin, as Caesar make sure Koba is informed that he knows what he is doing. Koba does not accept this, and secretely go back into the humans camp, kill 2 guards as well as kill Carver. Caesar does not know what Koba have done, but Koba is not yet finished. While the dam is repaired and seems to be working, the humans are invited to celebrate with the ape community. That night, Koba set the ape village on fire and shoot Caesar, blaiming this on the humans. The ape forces prepare for battle, as the humans realise that this could be the end, if a sollution is not found.

Ever since Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, gave us a very well made reboot, i was very curious to see if a sequel could deliver something more. The good news is, we got even more. This sequel is so good, that after i watched it in the cinema, i finally felt hope for sequels, that it is possible to make good ones. This does not happen very often, but when they do arrive, and deliver something positive, you feel like cheering in the audience, even how nuts they may think you are. Director Matt Reeves, who directed great films as Cloverfield and the american version of Let Me In, jumped on board to do this sequel. And since he have done some great motion pictures in the past, you can tell he is very focused to please fans, both of the older films, and the previous film from 2011. The action scenes are very brutal, but so well made, you simply sit there and feel very pleased. Let´s not forget the special effects, the apes look so real, it is scary how good CGI can look in the hands of the right film maker. Andy Serkins is back as Caesar, looking even better than before. This time we don´t have James Franco in the lead role, instead he is replaced by Jason Clarke. You might remember Jason from Texas Killing Fields ( a film not many people discovered, but is worth watching ), Zero Dark Thirty and Lawless. I would have to say this may be one of his best performances yet in a motion picture. Looking back and comparing the following sequels from the 70´s up until 2011, i have to say that this is the best sequel ever made so far, in this series. Everything looks great, the scenery locations, the CGI is fantastic, the acting is really good, even from the apes. One very important detail that i really enjoyed with Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, is the plot. We get to see how both humans and apes feel about each other, and how our lives are affected when war strikes. Gary Oldman shows once again why he is such a powerful actor, i hope to see him soon again in something spectacular, hopefully in a lead role. If you loved the previous film, or even the older films, i have a feeling you will love this genre even more. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a really good action film, but also give a very important message about humanity and respect for each other. I really hope this film is nominated for best special effects at the Academy Awards next year, CGI does not look this good very often. A sequel you simply have to see.

Rating: DDDD

The Purge: Anarchy

Life is not fair. At least for many families who are victims of brutal crimes. There are too much violence and brutality on the streets worldwide. In some cities women can't go on their own without a friend or partner,  because the risk of being a rape victim. It is sad to see that so many people can become victims for money, sexual desires, or sick fantasies. Just look at Mexico as an example, the drug cartel murder civilians every day, and have no remorse. But in all this darkness we need some hope, that justice have to be the best sollution. We need to have hope that criminals will be punished for their deeds. There are many motion pictures out there that take on criminals with disturbing ideas, just to please themselves. Last year we got a different approach on criminality in the motion picture The Purge. The idea is that every year, on one single night, there is a Purge night, approved by the Government, where murder and criminality is legal, but only until the next morning. The idea of this was fascinating, but the film itself had some problems. Ethan Hawke in the lead role was an advantage, but he could not fill up the mistakes the plot had and some of the poor script ideas. But now we have a sequel here, The Purge: Anarchy that is said to bedifferent from the first motion picture.Considering that the first motion pictures had some problems, is this sequel better than the first film, or are there still problems with the plot ?

March 21, 2023. It is time for the annual Purge night, and all over the city, civilian people are locking themselves inside their homes, until the Purge night is over. Waitress Eva Sanchez ( Carmen Ejogo ) is about to end her work shift and go home, before Purge night begins. She lives together with her daughter Cali Sanchez (Zoe Soul ) and Eva's father Papa Rico ( John Beasley ), who is ill and Eva takes care of him. Just as Purge night is about to begin, Paps Rico tell Eva and Cali he needs to rest. As he goes to bed, Eva prepare late dinner as she let her father sleep. But after quite some time, they discover he have left the building with a note. Since he is ill and probably will not live much longer, he decided to give his life to Purge millionaires, who pay to kill people. This way both Eva and Cali will have a lot of money, even if he is no longer with them. Shocked and incredibly sad, they dont know what to do. But an armed team is breaking in to their appartment building, it seems they are taken as hostages for some unknown reason. Just as Eva and Cali are about to be brought into a truck, they are saved by Seargent Leo Barnes, a lonely man who plan to murder the man who killed his son, driving drunk. He let them go with him into safety, including a couple, Shane ( Zac Gilford ) and Liz ( Kiele Sanchez ) who also need to hide. This is not what Leo planned, but decide to help these people as long as he can. The streets are filled with criminals, who are looking for fresh victims. The Purge distributors gather around and have sales on victims, just to have fun watching poor people die for pleasure. But there is a anti-Purge resistance group, led by leader Carmelo ( Michael K. Williams ). The anti-Purge resistance group save Leo and his friends from one of the Purge compounds, but the battle is far from over.

I can't think of many titles where the sequel is much better than the first film. In the case of The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel is better on every level in acting, script and better dialougue. In fact, i am a bit shocked that director James DeMonaco, who directed the first Purge also, have really changed all the mistakes he did the first time. It is like he realised he needed to make the sequel with the help of what fans wanted. As an example, online there was a forum of The Purge where people could write down what they wanted to be in the sequel. James DeMonaco listened to the fans request, to take The Purge on the city streets, not inside a single house. There is plenty of action here, reminds me of the 1979 motion picture The Warriors, but more updated and with a different plot. The fact that rich people use The Purge for fun, where you can kill people any way you like, is a disurbing idea. And i would not be surprised if this could happen, or already have happened, since some rich people find ways to spend money. Lead actor Frank Grillo is really good as the lonesome revenge seeking Seargent Leo Barnes, who goes out on the annual Purge night, and cruise the streets. One reason why Frank Grillo fit this role so good, is that he is not trying to be a hero or a role model, he does what he needs to do to survive. The massive brutality we get to see on the streets are disturbing, but we all know this could be reality, if criminals decided to gather around and make chaos. Director James DeMonaco really surprised me this time, The Purge: Anarchy is a great action motion picture that shows you how controlled the world is on money. There may not be much original ideas, but in this case i think the concept works much better than the first time. A prequel is coming out next year, we will have to see if it can stand up to the quality of The Purge: Anarchy, because this is the way a sequel should be made. I wonder if we will have a Purge night in Sundsvall ? Just in case, i need to go shopping,  anyone who have a shotgun and throwing knives for sale ? Just curious.....

Rating: DDD