söndag 31 maj 2015

Monkey Shines

As time goes by, it is easy to forget a lot of classic film releases from the 70´s and the 80´s. Some are almost impossible to find, since they might have been released on dvd years ago, but run out of copies. I know a lot of titles that should be worthy to release again, especially on region free blu rays. But there is still hope, and for that we must thank the home video company Shout Factory, who release old B movies again, especially with Scream Factory that is a part of the same company. For years they have found classics we almost forgot about, release them again on blu ray, or on dvd / blu ray combo releases, just for the audience to enjoy B film magic once again. I have purchased some of their releases, such as Motel Hell, Nightbreed and Without Warning. They all have some nice extra features included, with new interviews, behind the scenes, and you can´t help to feel that films like this deserves to be seen by a new audience. They are cult films that helped a lot of films become successfull, so Scream Factory is definetely worth respect for releasing so many old classics once more. Speaking of classics, who have not seen the 1968 cult classic Night Of The Living Dead ? If you ask horror fans, this is one film that you should have seen, because director George A. Romero was the pioneer of zombie films. Since he became a cult film maker, he continued the zombie genre with Dawn Of The Dead in 1978, a film that was praised by critics and also did very well at the box office. If you look at most films that George directed, he always stayed in the horror genre, for most of the time. Well, there is one proof where he tried to do something unusual. Have anyone of you seen Knightriders ? It is not the David Hasselhoff tv series, this is a very different film from Romero, a sort of motorcycle drama film. I would not say it is terrible, but it was definetely not one of Romero´s better films. He did try something different, and for that i would say he was brave. After Day Of The Dead became a box office failure, Romero took some time off from directing any films, until he was offered to direct a film called Monkey Shines. Based on the novel by Michael Stewart, it seemed as Romero was ready to do something different again, and still stay in the horror genre. It failed at the box office, but Fear Factory picked it up and gave it a new release on blu ray, with extra features. I have not seen this film for many years, before i found out it was released again, so i had to pick it up and write a review. Is this a fascinating different horror film that should have more respect from Romero fans, or is this one of his worst films of his career ?

Athlete Allan Mann ( Jason Beghe ) is hit by a truck while out running. He wakes up in hospital, to find out he is diagnosed with rendered quadriplegia, paralysed from his shoulders. Allan´s active life changes completely, and now he needs health care help every day. He moves back into his home, with a personal nurse, hired to work for him. His own mother Dorothy Mann ( Joyce Van Patten ), is worried about Allan, especially when he tries to kill himself. Allan´s friend Geoffrey Fisher ( John Pankow ) found him, before it was too late. Dorothy consider to stay, living with Allan to make sure this does not happen again, but the doctor suggest she should let his personal nurse look after him instead. Geoffrey works in a laboratory, where they do experiments on monkeys. He come up with an idea, that one of these monkeys can be trained to help Allan get help at home. Geoffrey travels out to a woman, Melanie Parker ( Kate McNeil ), who is a specialist in quadriplegia, training monkeys to help people living with this diagnose. Geoffrey suggest that Melanie could help his friend, but she does not have any monkeys avaible for Allan to have, so Geoffrey suggest he can give her one of the laboratory monkeys as a gift, if she train the monkey. Geoffrey choose Ella, who seems to be a great choice. Melanie and Geoffrey visit Allan to show him their gift, and Allan loves Ella, who seems to be able to help him with a lot of details. But the relatiosnhip between Allan and Ella is changing through time, and Allan is not sure if this was a good idea. What seemed like a harmless monkey, is suddenly becoming very disturbing.

If you are hoping from some influences of Romero´s classic films, you might be dissapointed. This is not one of his typical releases, and i think that is one reason why he choosed to direct this film. He wanted to do something else in the horror genre, both to challenge himself, but also see the reaction to the audience. We do know that the audience did not come to see Monkey Shines, when it was released in 1988. But i feel that it is good this film got to be released again, because it is not awful. In fact, there is an interesting story here to be told. Especially since the main character Allan is paralysed, and can only use his head. It is hard to imagine how it must be to adjust life, when you are used to do sport activities, have a job like everyone else, and one day everything changes. I would not call Monkey Shines a horror film for the most part, there are many dramatic scenes between Allan and his monkey Ella. Since this film came out in the end of the 80´s, technology for disabled people have improved, and you can tell by the permobil model that you could do more things on your own. Nowdays you can pretty much control Everything through computers, or other systems, depending on what disability you have. The idea of a reletionship between Allan and Ella, is a different perspective than most other films where animals are included. It is almost as Ella is obsessed with Allan, and that is what is the strength of Monkey Shines. The dramatic scenes feel a bit drawn out. I don´t mind that there is drama here, since some parts of the film do function ok. When Ella begin to show rage, you get the feeling that you can never take away the animal instict. This is where Monkey Shines becomes more interesting, showing the different sides of humanity and animal behavior. Even if you train a monkey, does not mean you can change the monkey completely to be more like a human. George A. Romero tried to make a very different film with Monkey Shines, and he manage to deliver something out of his ordinary catalogue. This is definetely not one of his better films, but i still see a film that stands on its own for trying a different path in health care issues. Is it right or wrong to let animals help patients ? I think we all have different opinions about this. This Scream Factory release on blu ray have some nice extra features for those who are interested, and if you are a fan of George A. Romero, it might be fun to see one of his films that did not find the way to a larger audience. Monkey Shines is a different film from this legendary director, and worth watching. One thing is sure, i am not having a monkey the day i get in a wheelchair, just give me a shotgun and a whiskey bottle, and i can welcome guests anytime, anywhere.

Rating: DDD

As promised, i am posting the Scream Factory blu ray choice tonight.

Hi everyone! 

You might have read recently that i was going to review one of Scream Factory blu ray releases,  and i choosed Monkey Shines.  In about 15 minutes i will post the review,  so enjoy and im going to write some fresh movie reviews next week. Thank you for reading my reviews, without all of you readers i would not be doing this.  You mean the world to me. 

Cheers from Daniel 

fredag 29 maj 2015

Kung Fury

The 80´s, remember the good times with all the ninja films, karate films, cheesy high school action films that made no sense at all ? Oh yes, those were the good days of quality films. As a kid, i used to watch all kinds of B movie action films, and i even tried a round kick on my sisters head, but she revenged me, hitting me with a snow shuffle. The video violence days of the 80´s proved many things, what love is all about. It was not about social status, looks, it was simply about kicking ass. I have probably seen between 300 - 400 B movie films from this period, because so many of them were awsome. The best concept of these films had to include 3 things, to make them worth seeing....

1. Cheesy acting, with actors that knew that violence is better than acting.
2. Cheesy special effects, because you can spend more time on kicking ass instead.
3. Film titles that gave you an orgasm, or at least gave you the chance to feel like you were in heaven.

There were so many great film makers, directors during this time period. And especially one film company who made a lot of classics. Cannon Films was the company you could trust, with the Go-Go Boys, known as Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. You can see a really good documentary about the story about Cannon Films, that is called The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story Of Cannon Films, with a lot of stories about their films, actors, and some surprising facts on how they worked, on very low budget. One of the films i remember during the Cannon Films period is Cyborg, with Jean-Claude Van Damme. An apocalypse future sci fi action film, that was very cut in Sweden, maybe as much as 10 minutes on VHS. I had to wait many years to see a more uncut version of Albert Pyun´s classic film, but it was worth it. I have seen that there is a blu ray version out in Germany, that is known as Director´s Cut version. I think i have to get my hands on a copy. B movies have been made for many years, even until this day we get quality action films thanks to Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins and Tony Jaa. But it was a long time ago we got something really special, just like it was in the 80´s. So when a Swedish film team in Umeå, decided to make a action film, as a tribute to the video violence era, i was hooked up and ready to go. Especially when you could help them make the film, with the help of Kickstarter, and of course i became one of the sponsors. Knowing that this is a throwback to the 80´s, i was really curious to see if director David Sandberg could deliver a film, that we all have missed. Is Kung Fury the greatest swedish film of all time, or is it a great idea that did not turn out as good as i hoped for ?

In Miami, 1985, Kung Fury ( David Sandberg ) is a cop, on a mission with his partner Dragon ( Stephen Chew ) to stop the Red Ninja ( Eos Karlsson ). Dragon gets split in half by the Red Ninja, but Kung Fury suddenly get struck by lightning, and bitten by a cobra. This gives him special martial arts powers, to use when evil strikes. The day after he defeats an arcade machine in an Epic battle, Kung Fury decide to quit as a police, when his Chief ( Per-Henrik Arvidius ) tell him to have a new partner, called Triceracop ( Erik Hörnqvist ). Meanwhile, Chief gets a phone call from Adolf Hitler aka Kung Fuhrer ( Jorma Traccone ) ( who have travelled through time ), who wants to talk to him. He fires his gun through the phone, as the gun bullets fly around the police station. Kung Fury manage to shoot down the phone, but he realise that Adolf Hitler have returned, and need to be stopped. He gets help from Hacker Man ( Leopold Nilsson ) to travel back in time, to kick some nazi ass. Something goes wrong, and Kung Fury travel back to the viking age instead. Here he meets the viking babes Barbarianna ( Elini Young ) and Katana ( Helene Ahlson ), who call after Thor - The Viking God ( Andreas Wahling ). Thor help Kung Fury to travel to nazi Germany, to finish his job, to kill Hitler and to save the world.

Ever since i heard about this project, and found out about the Kickstarter campaign, i just had to get on board and support this film. A throwback to the VHS video violence of the 80´s, with ninjas, nazis and dinosaurs ? Just to think about it made me so happy, i can honestly say i wanted to cry of happiness. And you know what.........i can finally say that i am proud to be swedish.

Is it because of Christer Sandelin´s christmas shows on tourist boats in Gothenburgh ? Well....not really, i think there is a completely different reason.

Kung Fury is a masterpiece in swedish film history.

Yes, i said it, a masterpiece. This is the best swedish film, ever made in Sweden, and that is the holy truth that you all should know. Not one single swedish film can ever be as bad ass, Kung Fury is everything we wanted, and have some of the best acting i have ever seen in a swedish film. The action is absolutely amazing, the soundtrack is beyond awsome, the dialogue is the best ever written in swedish history. I realise that Ruben Östlund will say his film Force Majeure is better, but that is actually not correct. Let´s be honest, for many years Sweden had no idea what quality film is all about. They hired actors who acted like they were paid to talk into a camera, without knowing what they were doing. Kung Fury was made thanks to people who belived in this project, who love B movies and want to bring this genre back. And every single actor in this film, deliver in their own unique way. In todays society, people seem to have forgotten about the video violence time period of the 80´s. Not people in my age perhaps, but a new generation barely know the classic films of Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, Michael Dudikoff, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren or Sho Kusogi. I personally think that we should have an official B Movie day worldwide, where every country can celebrate with screenings of classic action films. Maybe things will change since Kung Fury is being loved worldwide, and even get great reviews. One of the greatest details about Kung Fury is that it is so over the top filled with action sequences, that you feel like you are in love, just like you felt in your first teen crush. Everything is massive, bombastic, and you might cry of joy because this could be the most beautiful film ever made in Sweden. Director David Sandberg have made a film that will forever be known as the greatest swedish film ever made. Kung Fury should win every single award for this film at Guldbaggegalan 2016, best director, best film, best male actor, best female actor, every single award should go to this film. It is only 30 minutes long, but for those 30 minutes you get everything you could wish for. And i know there is talking about making a full feature film in the future, so i say they should do that.

Congratulations Sweden, the greatest swedish film of all time is here, watch it, and explore the most beautiful swedish film ever made. I hope that Helena Bergström will agree with me on this one, i have a feeling she feels the same........because we both love quality films....what a wonderful day.

Rating: DDDDD

torsdag 28 maj 2015

Welcome To Me

When i started working in health care, back in 1999, i met some really interesting people. I worked in all kinds of places, taking care of older people, disabled people, even worked with mentally insane people ( not the dangerous types though ). I remember one man especially, who spend everyday listening to ABBA records and watching german porn films, since he felt that ABBA and porn is a great combination. It may not sound insane when you read it, but the way he explained it did not sound like a normal person. There was also a woman who threw her clothes off in the middle of the street, because she rather walk naked infront of everyone. Every patient is unique, and now being in health care for 16 years, you are not really shocked anymore as i used to be in my youth. One of the most important things i have learned over these years, is that every patient is unique, no matter what diagnose the patient have. You have to see the person, and remember that they deserve respect. I have had some tough times, where some patients become more ill, or even die. These moments are always hard, but if you know that you did the best you could to help them, you know that you can´t do more. But let´s not get depressed, i can tell you i have had many great times with disabled people and sick people, they really taught me to make sure to live life. When it comes to motion pictures, we have seen many films based on true stories about people with different diagnosis, or handicapped. One of the best films, if you ask me is One Flew Over The Cuckoo´s Nest from 1975. The story about a mental hospital in the 70´s is simply fantastic, and shows you the difference between patients and health care staff. I would imagine you have all seen Rain Man by now ? Those who have not, you need to go down and rent this one. It can be hard to joke about sick people, but eventually there actually are films made to joke about patient situations. I think it is good that we can do this, without being cruel towards the people who live in an complicated situation. If you have not seen Patch Adams, with Robin Williams playing a doctor for kids with cancer, i highly recommend this one. Welcome To Me is a new film, not released in many theatres, that i managed to take a look at through VOD. I did see that actor Kristen Wiig have the lead role, as the woman who lives with borderline personality disorder. A complicated role, to play someone diagnosed with this serious mental illness. What got me surprised was to see that this is supposed to be a black comedy drama, and that got me interested. With very limited promotion for the film, is this something you should take the time to see, or avoid ?

Alice Klieg ( Kristen Wiig ) is a woman living with borderline personality disorder. She is living on benefits because of her mental illnes, and if there is 2 things she especially love. Buying lottery tickets, and watching Oprah tv programs. One day, while she is checking her latest lotto numbers, she wins 86 million dollars. Alice have never seen this much Money ever, so she begin to spend some with her best friend Gina ( Linda Cardellini ). Alice goes every week to see her  therapist Dr. Moffat ( Tim Robbins ), as he tries to help her with sessions, where they focus on her feelings, and how she should handle ordinary day life. Problems become more obvious, when Alice decide to stop eating her medicine, even if Dr. Moffat suggest she should. One day, she and Gina are in the studio audience, for the vitamin supplement infomercial with Gabe ( Wes Bentley ). Alice walk right up infront of the camera, and love the attention. She come up with an idea for her own talkshow, on the very same tv station. Studio - head Rich ( James Marsden ) listen to what Alice have planned about her own talkshow. Rich get payed by Alice to fix this up, and he does. Alice becomes a popular tv host, with her crazy ideas for each epsiode. Since she have stoped eating her medecine, her mental illness is taking over. Is this the end for Alice dream of her own version of having an Oprah show ?

To be honest, before i watched Welcome To Me, i had not seen a trailer, or any Review, i simply took a chance to see what this could be. And let me tell you folks, i am quite surprised about this film. This is sort of a black comedy, mixed with drama, with a woman who is diagnosed borderline personality disorder. And i think this is one of the reasons why this film is such a good time, that she says exactly what she is thinking about. For an example, at the meeting at the tv studio, when she presents her talskshow idea, she have to tell everyone that she had orgasm problems, but is ok now. I doubt that is something a normal person would bring up in a meeting. As she is the big winner at the lotto competition, she can do anything she wants, because she have so much money. So what does she do ? Pay 15 million dollars so she can have a 2 hours talk show, with her only talking, and no guests. A brilliant idea, or.....is she really insane ? Actor Kristen Wiig have done some really good films in the past, such as Whip It, MacGruber ( insane tribute to the 80´s, and McGuyver ), Bridesmaids, and many more titles. Here she is the lead role character Alice, who have a lot of insane ideas, and this is why you love her instantly. For those who have never met a person with borderline personality disorder, it might be hard for you to know how such a person is in society. There are many different ways a person can be, but Alice here shows one version, where she take decisions that might not be good. Also, she clearly show signs of this diagnose the way she talks. This might actually be one of the best performances i have seen from actor Kristen Wiig, you can tell she must have worked hard to look and sound like a person in this situation. Director Shira Piven, who is mostly known as an actor in Step Brothers, and director of Fully Loaded, delivers her best film so far. Welcome To Me is a fun look at a woman, who clearly have problems, but turn them around into something good. Reminds me of a film i have not seen for a long time, Little Miss Sunshine, where one of the family members had mental problems, but made the road trip unique. These films are very different, but you can recognize a certain feeling from that film here, but in a completely different way. I would have liked even more dark humour in certain scenes, because Alice is the right character to deliver some surprising moments. But i love her show, very odd ideas and strange subjects mixed into each other. Especially segments like " Smelling Things Before They Happened ", brilliant topic, why did we never see a talkshow like this before ? This film is funny, strange, dramatic, all in one mix. I recommend you see Welcome To Me, if you like dark comedies. Nice to be surprised once in a while.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 26 maj 2015

The Humbling

There are some really great actors who have developed themselves over the years, proving that we still have hope to have quality films being made in the future. That of course include many new talented directors, who also want to give us well made motion pictures, with more substance instead of a surface only. Even how we turn things around, i have a feeling we can not deny that old school actors will always be respected. And we have many names that would be worth to mention. For now, let us talk about the legend Al Pacino. If you look at his films, from the early 70´s, up until today, he have made so many great films, you have to admit that he is one of a kind. From the Scarface remake in 1983, to Donnie Brasco in 1997, no matter where Al Pacino landed a role, he could always give his performances something unforgettable. Most people would probably talk about his character in The Godfather films, i could also do that if i would, but i feel he have done so many wonderful films in his career that we should break the ice. Does some of you remember his performance in Dog Day Afternoon ? Now this is a classic cult film, that should be in your home on dvd, or on blu ray if you prefer. Who can forget him in Michael Mann´s classic 90´s action thriller Heat, with Robert De Niro included in the cast ? We could go on forever and talk about many classics, and how much Al Pacino have influenced many actors, with his unique way to take on many different characters. After the millenium kicked in, it seemed as Pacino decided to choose more simple roles. I remember especially one film, Simone from 2002. To be honest, i did not like this film that much, and it seemed as Pacino wanted to go a different way than his classic films. Not a bad idea, unless you have a good script in your hands, and Simone did not deliver anything. Another example is the film 44 Minutes from 2007. This could possibly be one of his worst thrillers ever, while he was really good in the remake of the norwegian film Insomnia. Within the last years, he have done some smaller films for HBO, and i really loved the film You Don´t Know Jack. This film is based on the true story of Jack Kevorkian, an american pathologist, euthanasia activist, who wanted to help patients to die as they wish, even if it was forbidden. I would probably say that this is one of Al Pacino´s best performances in many years. So here we are with a different film, called The Humbling. Based on the novel by Philip Roth, this is a film directed by legendar director Barry Levinson, who directed Good Morning ,Vietnam, Rain Man and Wag The Dog among some classics. With Al Pacino in the lead role, and a legendary director on board, is The Humbling a film that gives us more than we could hoped for, or is this not worth your time ?

Simon Axler ( Al Pacino ) is a respected theatre actor, who have been praised for his acting on stage. One day he falls on stage, and is institutionalized where he is suspected to have dementia. He begins to be treated with medication, and also go to therapy sessions. Another patient, Sybil ( Nina Arianda ) loves spending time with Simon, and suggest that he should kill her husband. Simon thinks that Sybil is insane, and refuse to do this. When Simon is finally ready to move home, with someone looking after him, he gets a visitor. Pegeen Mike Stapelford ( Greta Gerwig ) is the daughter to one of Simon´s old friends, and she wanted to see him again after many years. She is a lesbian, but is attracted to Simon, and this does not make any sense in Simon´s world. Still, they spend a lot of time together. Pegeen´s lesbian partner Louise Trenner ( Kyra Sedgwick ) confront Simon of what he have done with Pegeen. The problem is that Simon have no idea how Pegeen decided to be with him instead, so have no answer to Louise. While this situation is complicated, Simon is trying to handle his own health issues, and Sybil is still trying to convince him to kill her husband. Simon tries to make the best out of what is going on,  somehow everything is more complicated since Pegeen came back into his life.

If you decide to see this film, after reading my review, i should tell you some details. This is not a film for you if you don´t like a lot of dialogue, and there are plenty of scenes with conversations, and theatre acting. For me personally i don´t have a problem with this, since i prefer stories that try to keep the audience interested, without using CGI or Michael Bay influenced scenes. The Humbling is without a doubt a different film for Al Pacino, i can´t remember if i have ever seen him do something like this film. He have done some theatre plays in the past, but The Humbling is definetely different. One difference is that this is not a story about theatre acting completely, it is also a story about becoming ill, having demensia disease. This combination makes the story feel especially interesting, just imagine you love to act on stage infront of an audience, but when demensia strikes everything changes. The Humbling switches different perspectives, as we see Pacino talk to people, while he tries to handle the situation of someone need of personal changes. You might think that the therapy sessions would help, but you can tell he does not like the idea of being seen as an ill person. The most charming part of this film, is the friendship between Simon and Pegeen, as they spend time together, even though the age difference is very big. There is a chemistry there that tells you, sometimes age is just a number, what matters is that you spend time with people that make you feel good. Director Barry Levinson have made some classic films in the past, and even if i enjoy The Humbling, i would not say this is one of his better films. The plot is interesting, but there are not enough moments to lift up the characters to a wider level of quality. Al Pacino is the biggest reason why The Humbling works, his acting fills this story with heart, emotions and you begin to think about what really matters in life. I would say that i recommend You Don´t Know Jack more than The Humbling, simply because that film is both very interesting, and the acting from Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman is fantastic. But i suggest if you dare, give The Humbling a try, because this is a film that will give you some thoughts, what it means to become older.

Rating: DDD

torsdag 21 maj 2015

Tales Of The Grim Sleeper

I love documentary films. Even if i try and see some, i never really write reviews about them. I suppose that i focus more on writing reviews on ordinary movies, just because there are so many films coming out each month. The difference between a feature film and an documentary film, is that you can tell a story in a very different way. When you make a documentary film, you have to have a lot of information, and be able to put it all together, to keep the viewer interested. You do this in ordinary films also of course, but there is still a difference, since with a documentary you are not supposed to fake scenes or facts. I can´t remember how many times i have seen Micahel Moore´s really good documentary films Bowling For Columbine, Farenheit 9/11, Sicko and Capitalism: A Love Story. If you have not seen any of them, i recommend that you do. They all tell different stories, based on real events, with different views on different events and subjects. HBO have made many really good documentary films over the years. One of my personal favourites is called Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God, directed by Alex Gibney. This horrible story about deaf children, being sexually abused by the priest Lawrence Murphy in Milwaukee, makes me so angry. How a priest can molest children at all is out of my world, it should not even exist. There are plenty of good documentary films made from England also, especially from documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield. If you have not seen his documentary film Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer. He made this film before Aileen was executed, known as one of the most dangerous female serial killers ever in America. Nick Broomfield managed to capture the feeling of hos disturbed this woman was, and you also don´t know if you can take anything serious of what she is saying, i would guess she lied about almost everything. Nick continued to make more documentary fims, about all kinds of different subjects and people. One film i want to see, is called Sarah Palin: You Betcha !. They say it is a good view on who Sarah Palin is, and how she managed to bring so many scandals on her in her political career. Nick is now back, with his latest film called Tales Of The Grim Sleeper, based on the case of chief suspect Lonnie David Franklin Jr. When i got the chance to see this new documentary film, i was really excited to see if it was as good as some of Nick Broomfields earlier films. Is this the best film so far from director Nick Broomfield, or have his earlier films been much better than this one ?

Between the years of 1985 - 2007, a lot of women in all ages were found murdered brutally in different locations in Los Angeles, California. Police did not seem to find enough evidence to arrest anyone, until in 2010. A man named Lonnie David Franklin Jr, is arrested, suspected to be the serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper. Documentary film maker Nick Broomfield travels to Los Angeles, to find out what the truth is, giving interviews to Lonnies friends, and people who knew him personally. Did Lonnie really kill all the women they have found, or did he kill even more victims ? Is it possible he is not guilty, that the real Grim Sleeper is still out in the streets ?

Even how disturbing this case is, and if Lonnie David Franklin Jr is guilty or not, i find myself very interested in the investigation of what happened to the missing women. Who killed all the women and why was no one arrested for so many years ? We get to hear interviews, with Lonnie´s friends, neighbours, people who helped him with jobs, and you get a sense that he could have been the Grim Reaper, since he had so many strange ideas and forced women to get naked infront of his camera. Drugs, alcohol, criminal jobs, Lonnie does not seem like a good man, and if he did kill all of this women, i really hope he is put in jail for a lifetime. I can´t be sure that all these people who say they knew Lonnie told the truth, at the same time i think some of them might actually told what happened, at certain moments where Lonnie used women. The most odd thing was that he was actually married for a woman in many years, and his friends say that she did not seem to know what Lonnie had in his house, or what he did. Until i find out that they lived in their own houses, then you realise Lonnie could do whatever he wanted with prostitues. Duringall the interviews, and all things happening around the case, i begin to wonder, let´s say Lonnie did kill all these women, could he have had someone helping him ? I become more suspicious about Lonnies son, who seems to protect his father a lot, and even fix so one the people who were interviewed is beaten up in the streets. Could he be involved since he is making sure no one should talk ? Tales Of The Grim Sleeper is a really disturbing look at a case that followed murdered women for over 20 years, where a serial killer was suspected, but no one was arrested. If it was Lonnie who killed all these women, he must have managed to hide his tracks pretty good, considering that no DNA was found anywhere, or the murder weapon. All the clues, information that keeps coming in, gives you a lot to think about what might be true, or if someone is lying. This is definetely a documentary film you should see, to make up your own mind what you belive is true or not. Nick Broomfield have possibly made one of his best documentary films so far, Tales Of The Grim Sleeper delivers a very powerful and emotional story, that you can´t let go.


onsdag 20 maj 2015

Be patient, reviews are coming, and i have another surprise........

Greetings movie lovers, and all you readers out there!

This month may not have just as many reviews as before, but i will try and write more during summer, because there are a lot of new releases that i need to check out. Now, let´s get to something else. Have any of you bought any of the blu ray/ dvd releases from Scream Factory ? They are releasing horror films that have been hard to find, in new and improved picture quality with extra features included. I have bought 5 releases so far, and i thought i should do a review on one of their releases. I might do a couple of reviews, just for nostalgia fans, because i know a lot of people in my age loved many of these films from the 80´s and 90´s. So, i will do a review on one of their releases, mostly for fun.

The first review that i will do from the Scream Factory releases is a film called Monkey Shines. It was released in 1988, actually directed by legendary director George A. Romero. The movie became a box office flop at the time, and the reviews was just average. Since i respect many of George A. Romeros classic independent films, i think this will be interesting to see again on the new blu ray release. I will take a look at this film again, sometime during next week, and will post a review right after. I have some other reviews that will be posted before this film, so stay calm, and be patient.

Thanks for the support, and remember, B movies is the answer for world peace.

Cheers from Daniel

tisdag 19 maj 2015

Lost Soul : The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley´s Island Of Dr. Moreau

I can honestly say, i love hearing about how people make films, how they come up with ideas for a script, and how they transform characters from novels into a motion picture. There are so many ways you can tell a story, and try to make it look like the novel. When i see a dvd or blu ray release with extra material, that includes interviews, making of, or even deleted scenes, i try and check it out just in case i might find something interesting. Some releases are really filled with extras, while others are left without almost nothing. But there are moments when film makers decide to make a documentary, about their films, or about a certain film, and make it into a film documentary. One of the best releases ever ( if you ask me ), is the fantastic blu ray release Crystal Lake Memories : The Complete History Of Friday The 13th. A documentary film with interviews, behind the scenes, and other really nice treats, with the history of the Friday The 13th films, for 400 minutes.....and trust me you will not be bored. Interviews with almost every actor from all the films, there are so much to learn from all the films that no one would ever know, until they decided to collect all this information. There are other films that get their own documentary, mostly because they could be cult films, or box office hits that people love even until this day. Then we have movie adaptions, that were probably meant to be loved by the audiences, but did not manage to please either film critics or the cinema audience. Maybe some  you remember the movie adaption of the classic novel The Island Of Dr. Moreau by author H.G. Wells ? It was the third movie adaption, from 1996, that was supposed to be directed by british director Richard Stanley. But he dropped out and director John Frankenheimer took over the project. At the time, it became a box office flop, and was nominated in many categories for the worst film of that year. I have seen it, and i remember that i was not really impressed with this film adaption. I was really surprised to see that a new documentary film called Lost Soul : The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley´s Island Of Dr. Moreau, was made to tell the story, of how original director Richard Stanley tell his side of what happened when production began, his vision of the film, and why he dropped out. When i got the chance to see this documentary, i decided to also write a review, since this is an original documentary film indeed. Is Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley a very fascinating look at the disaster film, or is this a disaster just like the movie adaption of the book The Island Of Dr. Moreau ?

In the early 90´s, director Richard Stanley got the chance to direct a film adaptation of H.G. Wells classic book The Island Of Dr. Moreau. With his vision he hoped to make this the best adaption ever so far, but things did not go as planned. With so many problems, before shooting, and while making the cast, Richard did not stay long into the project, until director John Frankenheimer took over. The Island Of Dr. Moreau became a box office flop, and hated by critics and viewers. Hear the story of what happened during the making of this film, both from the first director Richard Stanley, and with interviews of both film crew and actors, in this documentary film.

It is not very often film makers can take the time and tell a story on a film that failed, both during production and while it was released to find an audience. I think Richard Stanley is very honest, and open minded, as he tells his story of what happened during this time period. You realise that it must have been hard, since his vision was not accepted, and the film studio did not agree with his ideas. We have to remember that this is the director of the cult film Hardware, so he was the perfect choice to make a movie adaption of The Island Of Dr. Moreau. While you look at the sketches, drawings, and how Richard Stanley planned to make this island unique, you kind of feel sad that the film studio did not let Richard´s vision be the focus, instead of what they have planned. I don´t want to talk bad about director John Frankenheimer, since he have made some good films in the past, like French Connection 2, and Black Sunday. I can only say that he may not have had the right feeling to make this movie adaption of this classic novel, even if he tried. One problem that becomes obvious, is that Richard Stanley must have been depressed at the time, since he closed himself in during meetings, and as an director you have to be active with the team, to work things out. So it is not strange why Richard dropped out, when he is not feeling well with so many problems around him. For those of you who did see the film back in the 90´s, you might remember that Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando was the big names as the actors on board. I never really understood why Marlon Brando would take this role at all, was it because he was desperate ? One thing is clear though, he seemed to be very determined that he knows whats best for the film, and everyone should follow his orders. Let´s not forget Val Kilmer´s behavior on set, he seemed to care less about the film, so i can understand why Richard lost hope for the film. There are plenty of interviews with the cast, and the film team telling us what happened on this disaster film set, with so many problems. I think the strength of this documentary film, is that it proves that even if you have a great vision, it does not guarantee quality. Looking back at the film The Island Of Dr. Moreau, i saw it first on VHS, and remember i did not like it very much. Not an awful film all the way, but the casting of Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando on an island with animal hybrids, did not work. Director David Gregory have really worked hard to put this documentary film together, with so many great interviews, and stories from both the cast and the film makers. With so many problems on set, and off set, you realise why this film failed, because they could not do this film adaptation in the right way. You might think that some of the actors and crew would be ashamed of being in this documentary, instead you get the feeling they want to tell what a disaster this was to make this film. Not that they are proud of the final results, but they share their thoughts and how they feel today about being apart of this box office flop. Lost Soul : The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley´s Island Of Dr. Moreau is a fascinating look at the dark side of Hollywood, with a lot of interesting stories. Definetely worth watching if you love movies and how they made certain ideas brought to the cinema screen. Actually one of the best documentary films i have seen in a while. You can see it on VOD at this moment, and a 3 disc release is coming out soon, i know i will get my hands on that.

Rating: DDDD

fredag 15 maj 2015

Mad Max : Fury Road

As a young boy in my hometown Uddevalla,  i rented a hell of a lot of VHS films.  As long as there was action,  horror,  thrillers, sci fi and westerns,  i was feeling great.  Now, i will admit that I was probably too young to rent some films, but i knew the guys at Videomix so they did not care.  Besides, they were movie maniacs just like myself. One of my greatest memories of renting VHS films was the really violent ones.  Unfortunately,  they were very censored because some feminist bastards said :- A naked woman with a knife?  We cant show that? Even if i loved the VHS covers,  i did not like the fact that almost every movie was censored when it was released. One great example was the Mad Max films,  especially The Road Warrior.  The VHS version was cut several minutes,  and that should have been forbidden.  You dont cut cult films like Mad Max,  i am sure that there is a law in the Haag Convention that can confirm this. Mad Max is probably one of the biggest icon characters from australian films, i would say he is much bigger icon than Crocodile Dundee. Mel Gibson proved himself to be a really good action actor, and fit perfect as Mad Max. I actually did not see the first Mad Max film until in the late 90´s, probably because The Road Warrior was easier to get back in the VHS days. To be honest, i love the second film best, because this is one of the greatest action films of the 80´s, and still stand strong, even to this day. The third film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, was ok, but to be honest the worst of the Mad Max films. There were some good ideas behind the project, but the film did not deliver on the same level as the previous films. The third film came out in 1985, so it has taken a very long time to bring back this legendary character back on a big screen. From what i remember, George Miller informed us back in 2003 that a script was being developed to a new film. A lot of things happened after that, and it would take many years until George Miller could begin working on the new film. With 30 years between the last film with Mel Gibson, i was really happy to see that Mad Max would return. Especially when the second trailer came out, that looked so good i could almost cry of joy. With the original director George Miller back directing a new chapter, and the new Mad Max is played by Tom Hardy, is this a worthy film to the classic ones, or should he have left Mad Max alone after all these years ?

In a wasteland, where there is no hope, the only thing that matters is to survive, Mad Max ( Tom Hardy ) ride the highways, trying to deal with his past. Long ago, his wife and child was murdered, since then he lost his hope and future. While driving in the wasteland, Max is captured by the War Boys, the army of tyrannical cult leader King Immortan Joe ( Hugh Keays - Byrne. Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa ( Charlize Theron ) is driving a War Rig,  to collect fuel.  While driving she takes a different road. King Joe finds out that Furiosa brought his 5 Wives with her, selected for breeding.  He order his army to hunt them down.  Max is chained in the front of War Boy Nux ( Nicholas Hoult ) car, used as a blood bank for sick Boy Nux. While King Joe is getting closer,  Max manage to get Boy Nux cut him loose,  and help him on this journey.  Furiosa dont trust Max,  but realise she might need his help to make sure that the 5 Wives will survive. King Joe is prepared to kill anyone who stops his plans,  but Mad Max is prepared to finish this journey,  no matter what happens. 

Do you remember the last time you walked out of a cinema and want to hug everyone,  even throw your clothes off,  just because you are so happy?  Mad Max : Fury Road will give you that feeling,  and i feel so wonderful today,  after watching one of this years most beautiful film. The cinematography is brilliant, the action scenes are the best i have seen in many years. The fact that George Miller is back as the director, makes this adaption even more special. When all the violence kicks right in your face, you realise what it must feel like being in love for the first time. For those who might say that The Best Of Me was such a wonderful romantic film, i only have one thing to say. You can shove that dvd up your ass, because Mad Max: Fury Road shows you what real romance looks like. Lots of explosives, fighting, lots of weapons, girls fighting, now....you finally understand what romance means. This is almost like a beautiful violence opera, with so many amazing ingredients, you just don´t want it to stop. I don´t think we should compare Tom Hardy as Mad Max, to compare him to Mel Gibson, because it is always hard to be as good as the original actor. I would still say he does his performance very well, even if he have very little dialogue. The strength of Tom Hardy, is that he tries to both look like Mad Max, and act really tough, this is exactly how Mad Max is supposed to be. The biggest surprise in this film is actually Charlize Theron, as Imperator Furiosa. Damn, she is kicking ass, and she is almost like another version of Ripley in Alien. This is exactly what we need to see more of, women can be bad ass, just like men. The insane car scenes are so awsome, that i think the whole audience wanted to stand up and applaude every single time something brutal happened. Some might think that the violence is extreme, but that is the whole idea of an Mad Max film. If you look at The Road Warrior from 1981, it was extremely violent for that time period. This latest film is even more extreme, but it makes everything better inded. I can now already confirm this, that Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best films of this year, so far. And it is only May, talk about a full strike. I would personally like to thank George Miller for bringing back Mad Max to the big screen again, this is the most educational film you can find this year, without a doubt. It should be screened at every University, in every High School, so young people can learn what biology is all about. I am close to giving this a full rating, but i will still say this is a film that should be seen by everyone across the world. There is no film out there that explain what love is all about, better than Mad Max: Fury Road. I suggest you even have a Mad Max wedding, in a desert with guns, wow.....i am so good at this romance stuff.

Run to your local cinema now and buy tickets, that is all you need to know.

Rating : DDDD 

The Imitation Game

I have been to London 3 times so far, and i love the atmosphere of the big city. So many restaurants, shops, but the biggest passion i have for London is the music scene. There are many great british bands around England, and for many years i have tried to check out some of latest releases. Some are really good, some are average. But it is always nice to hear young people are influenced by classic ingredients. Speaking of England, there are so many good films coming out, including british tv series. If you compare swedish films and tv series with british productions, you realise that the english actors are on a completely different level on acting. They feel more natural, more explosive, and they try to show emotions, compared to Swedish actors. I am not saying that all swedish productions are bad, but very few of the films that comes out have a high quality. So i rather watch european productions, because quality is most likely guaranteed. One of the greatest british actors of all time, is named Benedict Cumberbatch. When i saw him for the first time in Sherlock, a new adaption of the Sherlock Holmes character, i could not resist his fantastic performance. How he could make the legendary character Sherlock Holmes in such a unique way, was really uplifting. Perhaps you saw him as an evil character Khan, in Star Trek Into Darkness ? You might remember what a fantastic performance he did. If you have not seen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, i suggest you go and rent it, and see him deliver a very solid performance. There are more films i could recommend, but let´s paus this information, and focus on this film called The Imitation Game. Based on the life and career of the British mathmetican Alan Turning, who helped to solve the Enigma codes in World War II. Based on a true story, is this historical drama another proof why Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the greatest actors of England, or is this role not the right choice for his

In the year 1939, Britain declares war on Germany. A young mathematican named Alan Turing ( Benedict Cumberbatch ), is asked to join a team, chosen by Commander Alastair Denniston ( Charles Dance ). At first Commander Alastair is not sure if Alan have what it takes to solve the codes, but when he see his potential, he decides to let him into the secret project. With the team of Hugh Alexander ( Matthew Goode ), John Cairncross ( Allen Leech ), Peter Hilton ( Matthew Beard ), Keith Furman ( Ilan Goodman ) and Charles Richards ( Jack Tarlton ). The teams mission is to try and find out what the germans are planning, and try to break the ciphers, and try to find secret messenges. The team see Alan as a very hard person to work with, until one day when Commander Alastair inform Alan that he refuse to fond the construction of the machine. Alan refuse to accept this, so he write to Winston Churchill, who confirm that he approve Alan to be the leader of the team, and also fund the machine. Alan fires Furman and Richards, and plan to find someone who fits better into his vision. He meets Joan Clarke ( Kiera Knightley ), a Campbridge graduate. Alan realise that they need a womans perspective in this project, so he agree to let her join. As the project moves along, Alan´s personal life could destroy everything, when some people find out he is homosexual. Alan hide, and become the husband to Joan, not to loose his position. But how long can he hide the truth, and can he finish this project if the truth comes out ?

This might actually be the greatest performance of Benedict Cumberbatch so far. I am stunned how well he managed to portrait Alan Turing, the british cryptanalyst. I do not know if this is close to how he was in real life, when he was still alive, but i have a feeling no one could have done a better performance than Benedict. The story itself is very interesting, how Alan could help find the Enigma codes, during the second world war. You understand how he must have been in real life, a very intelligent man, who had to prove himself while some people were skeptical about his work.  To see how he could read codes, and find out secret information is impressive. I could only imagine that if i tried to make any sense of these codes, i would be stuck. Director Morten Tyldom, is actually a director from Norway. His most famous film from the past, might be Headhunters, based on the novel by author Jo Nesbø. If you compare Headhunters to The Imitation Game, it feels like Morten Tyldom moved up on a completely different level of quality cinema. This is definetely his best film so far as an director, and he proves himself with such a powerful story. The acting is really good, from all corners of the film. The cinematography is splendid, where he manage to capture the feeling of different time periods of Allan Turnings life. One of the performances that you should notice, is Charles Dance as Commander Alastair Denniston. I can´t remember when he was this good, this might actually be one of his best performances ever. One detail i really enjoy with this story, is that director Morten Tyldom really tries to dig deep, so we can feel how many problems Allan had in his whole life, including that he was a homosexual man. Of course he could not tell this to everyone, because in those days that was a crime. The Imitation Game is a film that gives us a chance to understand this legendary man, who changed many peoples lives with his hard work. I think it would be a great idea to show this film from an educational perspective, since there is a lot to learn from Alan Turing. I will advice you to buy this film, it is a very important portrait of a man who helped changed history during the second world war. There is no doubt, The Imitation Game is a winner in many ways, and Benedict Cumberbatch should have won an Oscar at The Academy Awards earlier this year. See this film today, you will never regret that you did take the time to see it. Any doubts now ?

Rating: DDDD

torsdag 14 maj 2015

Reviews are coming, i promise

Hi everyone out there. 

You may have noticed that i have only posted one review so far this month. The truth is i am really busy this month,  both with working more and other projects.  But in the middle of may,  things should turn around easier. So hold out,  i will post and write more reviews when i get some time over.

Thank you for your support 

Cheers from Daniel - Swedens Oldest Virgin  ( If it is possible )

fredag 1 maj 2015

The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death

If someone would ask me, what studio produced some of the greatest horror classics ? I would without a doubt answer Hammer Films. Christoper Lee as Dracula, who does not love these classics from the 60´s and the 70´s ? All of them may not be great, but i would honestly say that he is the best Dracula ever, in motion pictures. Hammer Films became a legendary english film company, with a lot of horror releases that became cult films. All of them did not do well at the box office, but the comapny proved that they loved B Movies, and continued to work with great actors like Bela Lugosi, Peter Cushing, Oliver Reed, Barbara Shelley, and many more . One film that i will always remember is a film known as To The Devil A Daughter from 1976. A very odd satanist horror film, with influences from Rosemary´s Baby, and other satanic films of the 60´s and 70´s. This is not the best film that Christopher Lee made with Hammer Films, but i found myself enjoying the odd mix of christianity and satanism. If you have not seen it, i suggest you buy the uk dvd. There is a collection of Hammer Films classics released on dvd, for the fans to enjoy. If you have read my movie review blog for years, you might have stumbled across a film called Wake Wood. It was the first feature film from Hammer Films, as they ressurected after many years apart. Wake Wood did not get a lot of attention, since this was a smaller budget film. Such a shame, because it was so nice to see Hammer Films making old school horror films again, and this was a good release. You should try and see it if you can, should be avaible to buy, especially from the UK. In 2012, i was really surprised to see Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, doing a completely different film from his past work in The Woman In Black. This film was also made from Hammer Film Studios, and turned out to be a nice release. A simple story, set close to a small british village. The film made a profit, so it is no surprise that we have a sequel in our hands. With a brand new cast, and a brand new director, is this sequel still worthy the original film, or is this another proof of a waste of time ?

World War II is going all over Europe. In London, bombs are falling while people are trying to take cover. Eve Parkins ( Phoebe Fox ), Deputy Headmistress, are helping a group of school children to stay in safety. The situation is becoming more dangerous, so Eve and the kids, evacuate together with the school's headmistress, Jean Hogg ( Helene McCrory ) to the countryside town of Crythin Gifford. As they arrive, they are picked up by air warden Dr. Rhodes, who will take them to Eel Marsh House. As the bus suffers a puncture, they all have no choice but to get to the house. Before they head off, a man named Jacob ( Ned Dennehy ) warn them about the house, and that they should not go there. Even if they hear the warning, they continue their journey. At the Eel Marsh House, you can tell it is in bad condition, but they decide to stay there anyway. Eve begin to see a woman in black, appear in front of her. Not knowing who she is, or what she wants, she tries to dig into the information. When one of the children goes missing, Eve understand that all of them could be in danger, unless there is a way to understand what the woman in black is here for.

So here we go, a sequel to a descent horror film that actually turned out to be a quite nice surprise. When i watch a sequel i usually have 2 rules.

1. Make the film a worthy sequel, and add something suprisingly unexpected, that still manage to fit into the storyline.

2. Do not repeat yourself too much, use simple details that may even make the sequel a worthy experience.

Usually most sequels do not manage to deliver enough when they get released. One of the biggest problems is that many sequels are just made to make money at the box office, and the directors don´t really care about the substance. Even if i watch most sequels to good horror films, i can´t say i enjoy all of them. There are only a few times that i found myself surprised, and those moments are precious. The Woman In Black 2 is not an awful sequel, it could have been terrible. But if you compare to the first film, this feels like a quick release just to scare audiences, but not in a positive way. Jump scares are now thrown into this film, to try and look even more scary, The problem is that they should not have done that, Remember the atmosphere of the first film ? Dark creepy locations, with the feeling of someone watching, simple things like this can make a good horror film if you use this in an intelligent way. There are some scenes here that remind us of the first film, but the difference is that it is not that scary. The plot is set in the 40´s, and the locations of some scenes are different, so there are some changes here since last time. Still, i can´t say i am pleased with the final product. Director Tom Harper was one of the directors for miniseries This Is England´86, so you know he can provide quality. I don´t think horror is his strength to be honest, since Woman In Black 2 does not have that much to be pleased about. I like the idea of the kids, staying at this abandoned house. Unfortunately it seems that director Tom Harper does not use this idea in a better way. In some ways this is a very simple sequel, with nothing original to offer. Do some of you remember the spanish horror film The Orphanage ? This was a really good horror film, made with a big heart for the genre, without being complicated. The Woman In Black 2 could have been a worthy sequel, since the idea was great to move forward to the 1940´s. In the end, it all feels dull, since there is not much to care about. The kids are the one who lift this film, they are actually better actors than the adults, so well done. If you enjoyed the first movie, skip this one. It will not give you anything fresh in return.

Rating: DD