lördag 31 januari 2015

A Most Violent Year

I am a big fan of Martin Scorses films.  Especially his crime mob films Godfellas,  Casino and The Departed. There is something special about the way Martin Scorsese makes films, he have a feeling for telling stories in his own personal way. It seems that when he takes on the subject of crimes, drugs, money and alcohol, he knows how to deliver. Just think of The Wolf Of Wall Street, what a ride. It was actually so good i wanted to applaud in the cinema seat. Mob films most famous trilogy is without a doubt The Godfather. I don´t think i know anyone who have at least seen one of them, or the first 2, because in some ways it is tradition to see The Godfather. A masterpiece indeed, especially the second one. To see Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and many more, do wonderful performances is timeless. Even if the films were made over 40 years ago, they still feel very important for the next generation of film makers, to see how classics still survives in todays society. Mob films is without a doubt a Classic genre, and one of my personal favourites is The Untouchables by Brian De Palma. Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia and Sean Penn in a really intense action drama film, set in Chicago. This is actually one of the best films director Brian De Palma have made so far, and a classic of the 80´s. Nowdays there are a few titles that include the mob genre, but in many different time perspectives. About 5 months ago i started reading in english movie magazines about a new mob film called A Most Violent Year. From the information, and the positive feedback from critics, i got really excited to check this film out. Director J. C. Chandor have directed 2 feature films in the past, Margin Call and All Is Lost, both great films. To see him go for a mob story set in the early 80´s in New York, made me curious to see if he had something to bring into this genre. Is A Most Violent Year a worthy tribute to classic mob films we all love from the past, or is this a cheap copy that does not have much to say ?

Abel Morales ( Oscar Isaac ) is a business man, who make sure he is living a good life for his family. He runs a heating-oil business with his wife Anna Morales ( Jessica Chastain ). They have 2 kids together, and Abel try to make sure his family is safe, even though he is not a legal business man. The company seems to be going well, suddenly they are faced with hijackings, with anonymous gunmen. Problems become more clear when Abel one night discover a tresspasser outside his home. He chase the person away and it seems to be no problem. Next day Anna discover one of their kids find a gun outside their house. She confront Abel to make sure this never happens again, and he promise to take care of this. When police come around asking questions, about their company´s papers, Abel need to hide everything to make sure they don´t get into bigger problems. Abel is convinced that this is caused by his rivals. This is not going to stop Abel from doing what he knows best, making business.

The scenery of New York, set in 1981 looks great. It is as if director J. C. Chandor tries to capture that feeling of how it was, in the most violent year New York have experienced in crime statistics. The story around Abel Morales and his family feels very powerful, in the sense that you realise he will do anything to reach his goal. The problem is of course that in mob connections, there are always issues that could destroy the business deals. A Most Violent Year reminds me of early Martin Scorsese films, but the difference is that director  J. C. Chandor tries to portrait the mob world in his own way. One of the biggest differences between this mob films, and others out there, is that the violence is not the biggest priority. Instead, we get to go deeper within the characters, understand how life can be inside the mob. The acting for the most part is really good, especially from lead actor Oscar Isaac. The plot have a lot of details to tell, so if you are interested in this genre, i think you might try and understand what is going on. Jessica Chastain as Abel´s wife Anna, is one of the strongest characters in this film. Her presence feels natural, and i like that she is not the wife that accept everything. There are moments where you can feel that their marriage have problems, and somehow they try and figure out how to deal with the situation. Once the situation is getting worse, and Abel´s family is in danger, i feel that the story becomes more interesting. There is a lot of scenes where Abel simply talk a lot, both to his business partners, but also to family members. This could have been cut down a bit, and still keep the message of the situation interesting. To be honest, i was really excited to see A Most Violent Year, since the trailer looked so good. I enjoy this film for what this is, a mob film with a much deeper plot than most films in this genre. I would have liked to see Oscar Isaac more angry, and frustrated about the situation, that could have made the film even more interesting. A Most Violent Year is a film for people who love intelligent film making, with great acting. Did i hope for something more ? Yes, i can´t deny that. I still find myself enjoying this story of the early 80´s in New York. Oscar Isaac sure knows how to act like a criminal, this is a very different character from his previous films The Two Faces Of January and Inside Llewyn Davis. He seems to be ready for anything that comes his way. Hopefully people will see this film to get a glimpse of the early 80´s, things were not as happy as it might have seemed. I feel there is a Sidney Lumet vibe in this film, a nice surprise indeed.

Rating: DDD

söndag 25 januari 2015


When i was about 13 years old, i remember seeing a poster of Batman, the new movie adaption from the comic book characters, this time directed by Tim Burton. I was too young to see it in a cinema, but i remember my uncle Björn told me how good Michael Keaton was as Batman. About a year later, i finally got to see what my uncle was talking about. I remember i have seen Michael Keaton before in some of his early 80´s films, but he was really good as Batman. Thanks to Jack Nicholson´s amazing performance as The Joker, this duo really put on a show for the audience. To be honest, i have not followed Michael Keaton´s career completely since his Batman films, maybe because i had so many other films that got me excited. I remember that he mostly did comedies in the 90´s, and the suddenly disappeared from the larger cinema releases. Maybe he did have screenings in some countries, but here in Sweden we did not see him very often, mostly on straight to dvd releases. But in 2005, that all changed with the horror film White Noise. Michael Keaton was back on the big screen. White Noise became a box office hit and it seemed that he was back on track. For a while, until some more sraight to dvd releases came along. Then in 2010 he came back to the big screen once more with The Other Guys, starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, as he continued with some more major releases as Robocop and Need For Speed. It was a long time ago we have seen him in a lead role in a cinema release. Birdman seems to be his biggest film for many years, and so far both critics and audiences are going insane over this film. Directed by the amazing director Alejandro González Iñárritu , he have taken the whole world by storm with his latest film Birdman. Nominated in many categories in film festivals worldwide, chosen as one of the best films of 2014, is this really as good as everyone is saying ? Or is this film a big disappointment ?

Riggan Thomson ( Michael Keaton ) used to be a famous Hollywood actor in the very popular super hero films Birdman. Nowdays he is doing theatre productions, trying to survive as an actor. He constantly hear voices of Birman, who criticizes him for not trying to do what he knows best, being the actor he used to be. To try and get a chance for a bigger audience, Riggan work on writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver´s short story " What We Talk About When We Talk About Love ". Since Riggan does not like the actor Ralph ( Jeremy Shamos ), he makes sure he is hit in the head with a light, just so he can be replaced. Mike Shiner ( Edward Norton ) is chosen to take the role from Ralph, as Riggan feels this should be the right move. Riggan´s daughter Sam ( Emma Stone ), spend a lot of time at the Theatre, even though she is not happy with her life and how her dad treated her while she grew up. Sam works as her dads assistant,but they don´t get along very well. Riggan is too busy to think about this, since the play means everything to him. Riggan is going insane, hearing more voices from Birdman, telling him what to do. Jake ( Zach Galifianakis ), Riggan's lawyer, producer of this play, is worried about Riggan, but knows he must make sure that the play is finished perferct. After an early preview of the play, Riggan read the review of the play , where he is not almost mentioned, and Mike Shiner get all the attention. Riggan realise he needs to show everyone he is still the best, and no matter what he have to do, he will be the star of the play.

I am not sure how to explain this, but when i walked out of the cinema from Birdman, i did not know where to walk, what to do. I just felt like dancing with anyone who walked on the streets, hug them all, because i felt so much joy in my soul after watching Birdman. This is a masterpiece in all possible ways. Michael Keaton have never been as good as in Birdman, he is simply absolutely brilliant in every single way. I never thought he was this good as an actor, now i know i was wrong. Every scene, every dialogue he have, everything feels so deep that i can´t move out of my chair. But it does not stop here, Emma Stone is outstanding as Riggan´s daughter Sam. I absolutely love her all the way in Birdman, especially in one scene when she tells Riggs exactly how she feels about him not being a good father. She is so powerful in this scene, that i instantly could feel her emotions, remembering how my father left me and my sister almost 22 years ago. Edward Norton does one of his best performances ever, as the acclaimed Broadway actor Mike Shiner. From the moment he comes in on stage, you can feel his presence all the way. Every single scene Edward delivers top quality acting. As i mentioned earlier about Michael Keaton, i still can´t belive that he is this good. Remembering his acting days in the 80´s and in the 90´s, a lot have happened since then. It is almost as if he decided to leave the past behind, and show everyone that he is an actor of the highest league. I don´t think i have seen acting as good as this, since i saw The Place Beyond The Pines, and that was a while ago. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu have directed many really good motion pictures in the past, such as 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful. To be honest, Birdman is his best film so far, and it may be one of the best films i have seen in many many years. I am still shocked over how fantastic this motion picture is, i did not expect to feel like this again. The dialogue is absolutely amazing, and is so deep that you can feel the emotions from the words. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is so beautiful, and perfect in so many details, i don´t know how to explain it. Birdman is a motion picture that show us what life is all about, you take chances and you do anything you can to live life. Unless you try and fix your mistakes in life, you will never know if you can reach your goal. I did not give any film last year the highest rating, but there is a reason for that. No film was as good as Birdman, this is the best film of 2014. Go and see it in a cinema near you, don´t you dare say you can´t go and see this film. There are no excuses why you can´t go and see Birdman, you have to.....simple as that. Birdman is a masterpiece, everyone needs to go and experience how a film is supposed to feel like, you have never seen anything like this, there is no other way to explain it.

Rating: DDDDD

The Interview

I know some people don´t like Seth Rogen. Maybe because he can be very loud, and annoying with his laughter. But the truth is that he is a good comedian, especially in one of my favourite films, called Observe And Report. This is the kind of comedy i prefer, dark humour, and with a lot of satire about ordinary peoples lives. This film did not became very successfull, but the critics did see a different side of Seth Rogen, and he actually got good reviews. Since he have done many comedies over the years, i think we should mention a classic by now, Pineapple Express. To see Seth Rogen and James Franco as stoners going wild, was a great idea. They managed to do so well, they both returned in the really funny comedy This Is The End. If you have not seen this one, you have to. So many great actors, doing some really insane stuff as the world is ending. By the way, have you seen the film Fanboys ? Seth have a really funny character there, as a Star Trek nerd. James Franco is a much more serious actor, who have done some really good motion pictures. 127 Hours, Milk, Spring Breakers, there are many titles worth mentioning. I really enjoyed his perfomance in Milk, as the boyfriend of Harvey Milk, the gay politician who was murdered. Sean Penn is absolutely brilliant as Harvey Milk, i suggest you buy this one. So here we are with a new film, with both Seth Rogen and James Franco back together. This time though in a different comedy film called The Interview. This film have been very contreversial, because of making fun of Noth Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It was actually removed before the cinema premiere in many countries, but managed to get a limited theatrical release. Is this another funny combination of Seth Rogen and James Franco since last time, or have they done this too long and should drop theír teamwork for something more serious ?

Dave Skylark ( James Franco ) is a tv host, for his own talk show Skylark Tonight. He want celebrities to reveal their deepest secrets, on camera. The producer of Skylark Tonight, Dave´s best friend Aaron Rapoport ( Seth Rogen ), realise that they need to change the tone of the talkshow. People are not taking them seriously, and see them as loosers. One day, Dave have a brilliant idea to make his talkshow back on top. He is going to do an interview with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un ( Randall Park ). Aaron think this is a terrible idea, but when Dave eventually manage to persuade Aaron, he agree to travel to China to meet Sook Yung Park ( Diana Bang ), a North Korean propagandist, to discuss how this interview will be arranged. To celebrate this, Dave and Aaron throw a big party. As they wake up next day, CIA visit, with an offer. They want Dave and Aaron to assassinate Kim Jong-un, with a poison. Dave and Aaron are not sure about this, but understand that they can´t get out unless they finish the mission. As they prepare themselves, arriving in North Korea, they need to make this look as good as possible, so no one knows their true mission. The interview is about to begin, one fatal mistake can destroy the whole operation.

The Interview is definetely different from the previous films with Seth Rogen and James Franco. The good news is that The Interview is a fun comedy, even if they make fun of North Korea ( as many comedians usually do ). I like the idea that this is based on doing a serious interview, with one of the worlds most famous personalities. A different concept from Seth and James previous films together. We all know how often we read about North Korea in news papers, and the situation is sensitive. So i can understand the reaction that The Interview gave the people of North Korea. If you make fun of their leader, there will be consequences. Since this is just a comedy, i don´t think you should take it too seriously. Just an example, in the beginning you hear hip hop artist Eminem, admitting he is gay in an interview, is actually quite funny. The Interview turns into an assassination attempt, and of course becomes more louder. Once the action takes off in North Korea, i was reminded of the 80´s film Spies Like Us, with Checy Chase and Dan Akroyd. These are 2 different comedies of course, but they both take on countries known for being military imperiums. From a comedy perspective, this is the kind of vulgar humour that you want while having a beer with friends, or just having some good laughs with your partner. The assassination mission have some fun moments, and there is also a feeling of Mission Impossible vibe in here, when the guys are send to North Korea to do their job. The Interview is nothing fresh, we have seen all this before, but i still found myself having a good time thanks to Seth Rogen and James Franco. These guys seem to match great on screen, and for that simple reason it is hard not to like them back together. I hope they return with a different comedy next time, with another crazy idea. How about they both play a gay couple who start a country band ? Could be something to think about.

Rating: DDD

måndag 19 januari 2015

The Judge

If there is one film i hope you all have seen with Robert Downey. Jr´s career, i hope it is Natural Born Killers. You thought i was going to say Iron Man ? Probably, i do enjoy all 3 films, but i am actually more interested in the films where he portrait different characters, as in Natural Born Killers. It was actually one of my favourite films of the 90´s, with a very disturbed and twisted story of Mickey Knox ( Woody Harrelson ) and Mallory Knox ( Juliette Lewis ), 2 mass murderers with no limits. It was a very original motion picture from controversial director Oliver Stone, and i love how he put the film together, as a massive insane violence ride. Robert Downey. Jr continued his career, trying to do different characters. One of the earlier films that should be mentioned is U.S. Marshalls, with Tommy Lee Jones. As the new century began, after some mediocre releases, he finally hit correctly with Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang with a surprisingly good Val Kilmer by his side. It was not a box office hit, but critics agreed, this was a unexpected solid film. As Iron Man was released in 2008, Robert Downey. Jr was back on top, including a new movie adaption of Sherlock Holmes that became a big box office success. After some really tough years in drug addiction, and personal problems, things seems to be in control at the moment, and he continue to work on different film projects. The Judge is a new film by director David Dobkin, who directed one of my favourite comedies of 2005 called Wedding Crashers. This seems to be a much more serious film, and i was curious to see what Robert Downey. Jr and Robert Duvall would deliver together on screen. A criminal drama with a great cast, does The Judge have enough to deliver a solid motion picture, or is this a court film who will make you fall asleep ?

Hank Palmer ( Robert Downey. Jr ) is a defense attourney in Chicago. He tries to make sure he will please every client, doing what he knows best. One day in court, he gets a phone call from his brother Glen ( Vincent D'Onofrio ). He deliver the tragic news that their mother have died. Hank have to go back to his small hometown of Carlinville, Indiana. This will give him a chance to spend time with family, including with his Little brother Dale ( Jeremy Strong ), who is mentally handicapped, and his father Joseph Palmer ( Robert Duvall ). Hank Always looked up to his father, since he is a very respected judge, putting away many criminals in prison. After the funeral, things do not go as planned for Hank and his family. They don´t get along for many reasons, until Hank decide to travel back to Chicago and never come back. On the flight back to Chicago, his brother Glen calls. Not very happy about the situation, Hank finally answer the phone. His dad Joseph is in trouble, police have proof that he might have killed someone with his car. Since Hank is a defense attourney, he knows how to deal with police and the justice system. But can he save his own father from this situation ?

The Judge reminds me of 90´s films like The Pelican Brief, The Client and The Rainmaker. All these films may have different plots, but they all take place in court, handling different cases. The difference with this film, is that there is a much more deeper message to be told. How would you handle the situation, knowing your father might be convicted to jail ? Especially since he is a very respected judge, and have put many criminals behind bars. The cast including Robert Downey. Jr, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton all have a chance to deliver some solid performances. Especially Robert Duvall, he really steals the show in The Judge. If anyone would tell you that they never heard of him, they need to be taken to therapy. If you love movies, you will know who Robert Duvall is, simple as that. Since he is the biggest strength of this film, he also makes sure you feel interested in the story. One problem i had with The Judge is the length. Almost 2 hours and 20 minutes. It is not a big problem, but the storyline feels drawn out sometimes. It feels like director David Dobkin tried to make The Judge a very majestic motion picture. I will say it looks good, the scenes in court looks great, but i still feel that the story is a bit too long. Robert Downey. Jr does a very dramatic performance here, something we don´t see him do very often. I suppose we are used to see him doing more action films, like Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. So this is a good sign, that he tries to do a different genre and character. The Judge tries to bring up the importance of a well working justice system, and what happens when one of your family members is in trouble with the law. The case surrounding the father Joseph Palmer give you details of what happened, and you will have to think for yourself if he should be convicted. I suppose that since Joseph have worked as a judge all his life, it is an interesting plot what happens when he is forced to face reality. Considering what films director David Dobkin have directed in the past, this is one of his better films. If you loved the court thriller drama films of the 90´s, you might actually find yourself pleased about The Judge. Apart from the length, i found myself enjoying The Judge, especially from a law perspective.

Rating: DDD

torsdag 15 januari 2015

The Captive

As an actor, you have to take chances sometimes. It makes each character harder to connect to, but at the same time it could be important to try new things, so you don´t get stuck in the same genre. Some actors can´t leave their genre completely, like Dolph Lundgren. He knows this, and that is ok, because he is good in doing action films. Hugh Grant is another example, the problem with him is that he is usually not good in the same genre, so when he steps out and do something different, is a good sign. His best performance so far is no doubt in About A Boy. There are so many actors who actually try and develope themselves, trying to find different stories and characters. One of these that should be mentioned is Ryan Reynolds. From the early days of Van Wilder, until he became more serious and surprised us with Chaos Theory in 2007. Of course he have done a lot of different films over the years, and i know some people don´t want to be reminded of Green Lantern. I feel we should mention Buried from 2010, one of my personal favourite films with Ryan Reynolds. This was really a surprise, since he was actually really good, acting in a coffin all by himself. It is also my favourite film from spanish film director Rodrigo Cortez. Ryan Reynolds have continued working on many films over the years, and have 4 films on the way this year, unless some of them are released next year. One of the films i read about lately is The Captive, a indepenent canadian thriller, that was a very different choice from Ryans previous work. The Captive is directed by Atom Egoyan, the man who gave us the excellent erotic thriller Where The Truth Lies, with Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth. Just the knowledge of this combination got me curious, what his next film would be like. Nominated for a Palme d´Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2014, is this a surprisingly good film with Reynolds, or is this a film that will easily be forgotten within a short moment ?

Matthew ( Ryan Reynolds ) is out on the highway, with his daughter Cassandra ( Peyton Kennedy ). They stop at a highway restaurant to buy some pie for take away. When Matthew returns to his car, Cassandra is missing, and there is no trace of where she is. Police detective Nicole ( Rosario Dawson ) begins to investigate the case, where Matthew is seen as a potential suspect. Cassandra´s mother Tina ( Mireille Enos ) blame Matthew for what happened, as the case goes cold. 8 years later, there are traces online that Cassandra might be still alive, as detective Nicole tries to figure out where she could be located, and if she is still alive. Matthew is determined to take justice into his own hands, to show them that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Cassandra. Was she really abducted, or did something else happened ?

I love to see that director Atom Egoyan tries to do a completely different film than his previous work, since The Captive feels very independent. I like to see smaller films being made, especially if they have something interesting to say. The Captive is nowhere near as good as Where The Truth Lies. But i still see potential here, with Ryan Reynolds doing a very different character than usual. The strength of this film is that it takes place in a smaller town, and you can feel the natural portraits, with some good acting from Mireille Enos ( known from the tv series The Killing ), and Rosario Dawson. The biggest problem is that the story behind the disappearance of Cassandra does not feel very disturbing, as it should feel. That is something David Fincher managed to do better in Gone Girl, where Ben Affleck searches for his lost wife. For those who have seen Gone Girl, might remember how good the last hour was of that film. The Captive does have some good scenens along the way, but the tension we are supposed to feel over the disappearance of a child, does not feel very deep. It is almost as director Atom Egoyan does not dig deep enough into emotions, to make the story feel more simple. This is such a shame, because there is an interesting story to be told, if it was made in the right way. Ryan Reynolds does ok, but i would have wanted him to show even more emotions over what happened to his daughter. There are some scenes that feels interesting, while in other scenes the tension is lost on the way. The Captive is not a bad film, it just missing a lot of important details that should have been fixed before the film was finished. And for that i can only give a low rating, because of these mistakes. Too bad, i was hoping that i would like this film, now i feel more sleepy instead. If you want to see an intensive child abduction film, go and buy Prisoners, a really disturbing motion picture, still so good you wont be able to stop watching.

Rating: DD

tisdag 13 januari 2015

Son Of A Gun

I love Trainspotting.

It was one of the best films of the 90´s, and one of the best scottish films i have ever seen. A young Ewan McGregor making a mess in the streets of Edinburgh, gave us a ride like no other. I actually walked on the same street they filmed the famous running scene in Edinburgh. Once you started talking to scottish people about Trainspotting in pubs, most of them could share many wonderful scenes that they loved. I would never have guessed that Ewan McGregor would get a part in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, but he did and continued to develope his characters in many different films. One of my personal favourite films with Ewan is actually Roman Polanski´s film The Ghost Writer. Here he got a chance to show his brilliant acting side, in a much darker tone than usual. It may not have been a huge success, but The Ghost Writer turned out to be a very good thriller drama, with a very intelligent plot. Over the years Ewan continue to choose many different genre films, and does not seem to be afraid to cross new limits. Son Of A Gun is an australian crime thriller film that became praised at the Cinefest Oz Film Festival 2014 by critics. When i heard that both Ewan McGregor and young talented actor Brenton Thwaites worked together on this film, i became curious to see the results. Is this Another australian highlight release that should be discovered by a larger audience, or is this a film Ewan McGregor could have skipped to choose a better film ?

19 year old JR ( Brenton Thwaites ) have been sentenced to 6 months in prison. He tries to adjust in prison life, and always remember to stay wide awake. He encounter long time criminal Brendan Lynch on a chess game, as he teach him how to make a certain move. Brendan is impressed and begin to help JR in different situations. Brendan suggest that JR will help him, get connected with some friends of his, so he can get out. After 6 months in prison, JR is released and begin to get help to get Brendan out of prison. They succeed and now they can begin to plan a job together, from criminal lord Sam ( Jacek Koman ). The problem is that JR is falling in love with Sam´s daughter Tasha ( Alicia Vikander ). Brendan finds out about their night out, and warns JR not to see her. Sam count on Brendan to do their planned operation, with JR, and don´t need any problems. JR want to get out, but need to find a way before it is too late.

Son Of A Gun is a film that really move in different directions. At first you might think this is another prison drama, since we start to learn the characters from prison. But director Julius Avery makes a smart move, and let us see what happens when JR is released from prison. If he will make a better decision is something you will have to find out yourselves. The asutralian landscapes are captured well on cinematography, and i really enjoy some of the actors for their brutal portraits of people living in misery. We have seen many motion pictures in ther past, taking on the subject of criminals and their personal problems. Son Of A Gun may not have anything original to offer, but it is thanks to a good cast, with realistic portraits, that makes this film worth your time. Ewan McGregor really knows how to put on a show, as the brutal Brendan Lynch. One detail i found myself enjoying is that the game of chess is a very important detail in these criminals lives, almost if their lives is affected on how well they play a game of chess. Director Julius Avery have only directed short films in the past, so this is his first feature film. For his first time directing a full feature film, i think he have managed to put together a powerful film. Son Of A Gun gives you a view into the lives of criminals, and how bad things can go wrong, depending on what choices you make. We have seen similar stories before, but it is the great actiing that saves this film from feeling cliché. Every choice we make, can change everything, and this is something you will notice in this film. Ewan McGregor really shines as the evil Brendan, he have no feelings for nothing, as long as he gets everything his way. Brenton Thwaites was really good in last years sci fi film The Signal ( buy it if you have not seen it ), as he delivers again in Son Of A Gun. I would personally say that i recommend The Signal over this film, simply because it is more in my taste, but in this genre, Son Of A Gun pulls in the right strings. By the way, great to see swedish actor Alicia Vikander in a very different role, nice to see she tries to step on new ground.

Rating: DDD

lördag 3 januari 2015

Day Of The Mummy

I always wanted to visit Egypt, to see all the pyramids and learn egyptian history. I belive it all started over 20 years ago, when me and my sister watched Stargate in 1994, together on a cinema screen. Of course this film is just fictional, and there is no real Stargate, but for some reason we both became interested in the history of pyramids, and what life was like in Egypt a long time ago. In the end of the 90´s, a remake of The Mummy was made by director Stephen Sommers. The original film was made in 1932, with the legendary actor Boris Karloff, and is still today a cult film among many horror fans. The remake from 1999 was actually quite a fun ride, like a mix of Indiana Jones and mummy horror. One of the few moments where Brendan Fraser actually did a good performance. The sequel The Mummy Returns in 2001 delivered also from an entertainment perspective, with more action and more special effects. There was just one thing that was bad in this sequel, the CGI of Dwayne " The Rock " Johnson " as The Scorpion King. If you have not seen the final battle scene, check it out on Youtube and i am sure you will agree. A third film actually landed, 7 years later, still with Brandon Fraser in the lead role. It was alright, but not the best of them. So now a new mummy horror film is out in cinemas called The Pyramid. The trailer looks like fun, but as we all know we have to see what the final result is first. So here we have a different mummy film, released by the company Image Entertainment. They release B movies constantly on dvd, with many actors who were famous in the 80´s and 90´s, and this means quality guaranteed, or is that true ? This film titled Day Of The Mummy, have nothing to do with the cinema film The Pyramid, this is just a  different mummy horror film with completely different actors. Danny Glover is here, who have not seen Danny Glover in classics like Lethal Wapon, The Purple Color ? Nowdays we only see him mostly in low budget films, Hollywood is a hard industry. Is this mummy horror film surprisingly good, or is this just another awful horror release, that only 35 year old virgins will enjoy while playing with themselves ?

In Egypt, there is a story of the diamond known as the Codix Stone. It is said to be protected by the cursed king Neferu. Jack Wells ( William NcNamara ) is ordered to travel to Egypt, by his employer Carl ( Danny Glover ), who works with obtaining archeology objects. Jack have a team of experts with him, to make sure that the tomb will be investigated correctly. When the cursed king of Neferu suddenly awakes, the whole team is in danger.

I love B movies if they are made with a big heart and passion for the genre. Big Ass Spider, have you seen that yet ? Go out and rent it, and you will know what i mean. Day Of The Mummy on the other hand, is an example of when things go wrong. I dont mind bad acting, if it feels like they are doing it to make the B movie funny to watch. But here, they don´t act to be funny, but serious, and it all goes straight to hell. B horror films can be good, but when you don´t have either passion or heart for this genre, there is not much left to be happy about. Day Of The Mummy is so bad, i don´t know where to start. The special effects looks like they have been made on a budget of 38 dollars, and the acting is really awful. Director Johnny Tabor have directed one of the worst horror films in many years, i feel sick just thinking about it. Day Of The Mummy does not scare you, or feel frightening, this is just a waste of your time. I just read that director Johnny Tabor have 3 films coming from him in 2015/2016. I really hope he regret doing this film, and focused on something better on his next projects. Stay away from this, burn it if you can. Danny Glover, come back, you don´t deserve to be in shit films like this.

Rating: D

( REC ) 4: Apocalypse

Some people love sunsets, with a glass of wine at an ocean.
Some people love to sing along to Anna Book Greatest Hits at a förfest in Sollentuna.

Me on the other hand, i prefer infected people turning into zombies, eating flesh from humans.

There is something wonderful about this combination, that will make any day feel fantastic. Is this the same feeling you got from listening to Sanna Nielsens latest album ? Uhhm, no, that is a feeling we don´t want to experience again. This feeling about infected flesh eating people is no doubt more pleasing. If you have not seen the first film of REC, released in 2007, from spanish directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, i suggest you run and rent it right now. A really good spanish horror film, very intensive and well made. The sequel REC 2 was even better, with the same directors on board. That does not happen very often, so i would even recommend to buy REC 2, it is that good. After a couple of years of silence, there was talk of a third movie, simply called REC 3: Genesis. The difference this time was that only one of the original directors were on board, namely Paco Plaza. It was actually a fun ride, but not as good as the previous films, you could tell it was getting harder to follow up such great films. At the release of Rec 3 it was confirmed that we would have a final film released. And here it is, REC 4, this time directed by Jaume Balagueró, who were one of the directors of the first 2 films. When i heard that this was going to be the final film in the series, i had my doubts if this is really true. We all know that have been said so many times before, remember A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ? This might be the final film of the REC series, we will have to see. One thing is for sure, i love spanish horror films, especially since i loved the really good film The Orphanage. Is this final chapter of REC the perfect ending in this classic franchise, or is this ending that we did not ask for ?

Ángela Vidal ( Manuela Velasco ) wakes up, strapped on a hospital bed. She is no longer in the appartment house where she survived the infected humans. She is now onboard a ship, where she is kept for experiments. She tries to get answers from Doctor Ginard ( Paco Obregón )  , who are performing tests on her, but he refuse to answer. A man named Guzmán ( Paco Manzanedo ), also wakes up and have no idea of how he got on this ship. He meets a very confused old lady Anciana ( María Alfonsa Rosso ), who also woke up not knowing where she is. Ángela manage to get herself loose, and try and escape, but she is arrested as Guzmán try and help her into safety. They both meet Captain Ortega ( Mariano Venancio ), who want to make sure everything is secure, and don´t leave much information. Guzmán investigate what they are doing on the ship and get some help from the crew, where they reveal some kind of experiments have been made. The virus that caused so many human lives in Barcelona, is not destroyed, it is still here on this ship.

Looking back and compring the 4 films, is not that difficult. The first 2 films set out to do what the audience wanted to see. A roller coaster ride of plenty of gore, flesh wounds, bullet holes, everything you could ask for at the family sunday dinner table in Rågårdsvik. Even if the budget was limited, the quality was so good that you could tell they really worked hard to make it look as good, as it turned out to be. REC 3 on the other hand could not reach the same level, especially for 2 reasons. The storyline felt more simple, and the direction from Paco Plaza did not feel as solid, he decided to try a different path than before. Still as a horror film it did deliver, from an entertainment perspective. With this 4th chapter, i knew that the fans would hope for a great finish. If you loved the 2 first film, i don´t think you will be pleased completely with this final film. Is it a failure? No, at least not as bad as some might think it could have been.                                                                                                                                                             

The most positive surprise is that director Jaume Balagueró, have tried to capture some of that feeling from the first 2 REC films, and that makes a difference. Is it the final film we wanted ? No, there are details that could have been improved. The best part of REC 4 is when the infection spreads, through an infected monkey, then we really get the party started. Another detail i enjoy is that lead actress from the first 2 REC films Manuela Velasco is back. You might remember she was the tv news reporter, that did a segment on a firestation that became infected. Here she needs to survive in a different way, out in the ocean. The location of being trapped on a boat is a good idea, since last time we found ourselves at a wedding. It makes the sitaution feel more claustrophobic. REC 4 is not the final explosive film i was hoping for, i wanted more of everything to be honest from the first films. Still, this is much better than a lot of bad american horror releases from last year. If you are a fan, check it out at least, don´t have too high expectations though, just see it for what it is. I feel like going on a ship cruise in Spain right now, anyone who wants to join me ? Might as well load my 357 Magnum gun first, just in case i have a sour lady on board.

Rating: DDD


fredag 2 januari 2015

Lets get back on the road movie lovers !

A new year, a hell of a lot of new movies to write reviews about. 

It is always fun to see what a new year will offer, hopefully some really good highlights that might surprise us. I am starting to write on this years first movie review, so i realise that I have many releases ahead of me to check out. I will continue to write reviews from both box office hits,  box office flops and smaller independent films. Some releases from last year will be reviewed along the way, so if you are hoping for a certain title,  keep your eyes open. I will try and mix all kinds of genres as usual . Thanks everyone for enjoying my movie reviews,  and yes it is true,  i am Swedens Oldest Virgin. 

Cheers from Daniel