fredag 31 juli 2015


Ever since i was a child, i had a huge passion for music. I used to play instruments like flute, and guitar, until i became a teenager and found other things to do. But i always continued listening to music, in many different formats. One of the biggest inspirations for me personally, was Freddie Mercury, singer of Queen. He had a voice like no other, and did some fantastic songs before he passed away. I would probably say that Queens music helped me during my hard years of being abused as a child and teenager, i could dream away to a world where i fit in. As i became a bit older, and graduated from gymnasium, i remember one month especially that year in 1997. In november, news were coming out that Michael Hutchence, singer of rock band INXS, have been found dead in an hotel room in Sydney. INXS was a band that i have followed during the 80´s and 90´s, especially with their 1992 album Welcome To Wherever You Are. The news of Michael Hutchence death was shocking, and i remember i used to buy newspapers to read the story, behind his death. That same year, INXS did release an album called Elegantly Wasted. At the time of the release, i did not pick it up. But after Michael passed away, i found myself a copy and listened to the last album with Michael on board. Even until this day i can still feel some of the lyrics are very personal. Before he died he was working on a solo album, that was released in 1999. Listen to the song Possibilities, and listen to the lyrics. This song is magical. Many great artists have passed away, but some of them pass away much too early. One of those artists that should have lived a long life, but never got the chance, was Amy Winehouse. A woman who had a very special voice, and had a very unique style compared to many women at her young age. Since my wife used to listen a lot to Amy Winehouse´s album Back To Black, i found myself enjoying her songs. There were so many Deep lyrics in her songs, that felt very personal. You could read in the newspapers, and hear on the news about her drug problems and alcohol problems, so you knew she was in trouble. But when i got the news she was found dead at her home, in 2011, i was shocked. Not that i was one of her biggest fans, but such a talented musician, passing away so young felt terrible. So after some time, when i read that director Asif Kapadia, ( who directed the horror film The Return and the documentary film Senna ), were chosen to direct a documentary film about Amy Winehouse, i became very curious. Is this a worthy portrait of the singer who left us much too early, or is this just a documentary film that feels way to simple ?

At a very young age, Amy Winehouse started recording songs with jazz influenzes, with friends of hers. After a lot of hard work, and she got a chance to work with producer Simon Fuller, she released her debut album Frank, in 2003. Critics praised her musical style, and especially her voice. The album did sold well, and she was becoming a beloved artist worldwide. As she begin working on her second album, problems became clear. She was beginning using drugs, mixed with alcohol. But she managed to finish the album and stay focused, while the album Back To Black was released worldwide. This album became a huge success, and she was playing at sold out concerts all over the world. She even won the 50th Annual Grammy Award for best pop album. She was having problems with drugs and alcohol for some time, but now things got even worse. With her boyfriend, Blake Fielder-Civil, she became even more destructive with drug problems. They get married, and the problems just become bigger, Follow the story of Amy Winehouse, on her journey from an ordinary neighbourhood, to become a superstar across the world, until her life ended in the summer of 2011.

While watching Amy, during her interviews and her lyrics pass by, you sit there and begin to realise that she was very mature for her young age. A woman her age did not usually love jazz music, with so much dark lyrics. You can clearly hear that she did not feel like an ordinary woman, that she had to do this in her own way. When she became very successfull with Back To Black, you can tell she did not know how to handle the situation. I think one of the reasons why Amy was loved all over the world, was her honest image. She was herself, she did not need to hide behind the tabloids to look like a woman should be, she was only being herself. Her lyrics were very emotional, and while you watch some of her early performances, you get the sense that she always wanted to find a way out, to where she could feel more happy with herself and her life. I usually don´t show many emotions in a cinema, but when Amy was on screen you could not escape feeling sadness for her. She had so much potential, and was one of the few original singers out there who had her own unique style. Of course she wanted to be loved, just like anyone wants to be. That she choosed to be with Blake Fielder-Civil seemed to make things worse for her problems, so you sit there and feel like punching him in the face. I realise that this would not solve the problem, but he was bad for her, no doubt about that. One of the things i reacted on was her father Mitch, especially when Amy is on vacation, and all her father care about is the camera crew being there, and making sure she signs fan autographs. When you have a daughter that had so many problems with alcohol and drugs, and still make sure she tours and do promotion, what is more important, her or the money ? I understand he wanted to help her, but it becomes more obvious that he is also doing this for the money instead of helping her on a different path. No one of us will probably know the true story, but this documentary film really shows Amy Winehouse many different sides that we have not seen before. Amy is a very emotional and powerful story that director Asif Kapadia have managed to put together very professional, with a lot of important details. This is his best work so far as an director, and i hope that people will take the time to see this film. Even if this film have a lot of tragedy, we also get some moments where Amy really showed her good sides, that she was a woman with a big heart. I would love to see if Asif Kapadia could do a documentary film about Michael Hutchence, since he seems so good at showing portaits of people. If he would consider doing this of course, but i think that could be interesting. Make sure and watch Amy at your local cinema, you won´t forget this visit.

Rating: DDDD

Big Game

Finland is known for many things. Vodka, beer, saunas, the strange language, hot women, but most of all, the one thing people know most about Finland is that they love metal. Bands like Nighwish, Apocalyptica, Lordi, and many more, prove that in Finland they love summer. I have visited Finland 2 times so far, but only on cruise ships. It is very popular to go on cruising ships in Sweden to Finland, for 2 reasons.

1. To get drunk.
2. To get even more drunk.

So it is not hard to understand that people of Finland love Sweden for buying a lot of vodka and beer. I realise that there is a lot to see and experience in Finland, so maybe one day i will visit and learn more about the country. Speaking of Finland, i actually voted for Finland in Eurovision Song Contest 2015, with their band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät. These guys were bad ass, and so hard, they destroyed the nuts of Charlotte Perelli , in the first chorus. I will be honest and say i have not seen many films made from Finland. In fact, in all these years, i might have seen 5 of them, so i really don´t know much at all about the films coming out. Until about 5 months ago, when i read that legendary actor Samuel L. Jackson was going to be in a new film called Big Game. A finnish action adventure film, taking place in the wilderness of Finland. The combination sounded really fun, and after watching the trailer i got really excited. Finally a film that i had no idea was coming, but seemed to surprise me in a good way. So when i finally got a chance to see Big Game, i could not miss the chance. Is this one of the best films i have seen Finland release, or was the trailer the only good thing about the film itself ?

Air Force One is on the way to Helsinki, Finland, where the President of the Unted States, William Allan Moore ( Samuel L. Jackson ) will be attending a meeting. On the way, the plane gets shot down by terrorists. Luckily the president managed to escape, before the plane crashes, as he lands in the wilderness of Finland. A young boy named Oskari ( Onni Tommila ), finds the president at his landing location, and offer to help him, but only if he follow his rules. Oskari is actually becoming a real man, a hunter like his father and many other in his family. President William agree to let Oskari lead the way, but everything is not going the way they have planned, when the terrorists find out that the president have survived, and have a helper. They are now on the run, while back home in America, the Pentagon officials is doing everything they can to bring their president back home.

If you were hoping to see an emotional drama, or a Woody Allen inspired story, you are in the wrong place. Big Game is kind of a tribute to classic action films of the 80´s and 90´s, but presented in a old school stylish way. It is hard to compare this film with one certain film, because there are so many influences here from many classics. But the combination of these ingredients mix well together, that you kind of feel a nostalgia feeling in your spine. The story may not have anything unique, but it is the action scenes where Big Game works best. It is cheesy, and you can tell that the budget is not the typical Hollywood release, but the combination gets the job done. Remember the 90´s film Air Force One, and the Stallone film Cliffhanger ? This is sort of what Big Game is, but without any original ideas. Even though i wish we could have had some more surprises, it is fun to see Samuel L. Jackson running around in Finland wilderness, as the president. Director Jalmari Helander, have only directed one feature film in the past, called Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. I have not seen this film, so i really can´t say anything about his previous work. But you can tell he likes classic action films, since Big Game is influenced by movies we all grew up watching on VHS. The story is very simple, so you really don´t need to think alot, this is more of an popcorn and beer moment, where it is all about entertainment. Big Game may have a few problems, but i still found myself having a good time with this strange duo. Samuel L. Jackson is about the same as he always is, but the coolest character is without a doubt Oskari, played by actor Onni Tommila. He is the actual reason why you have a good time, since he takes everything so serious. Are you tired of smöriga swedish tv showings of Wallander ? Then i suggest you rent Big Game, and show your respect to Finland, or there might be a risk they will kick your ass.

Rating: DDD

söndag 19 juli 2015

Taste The Blood Of Dracula

In memory of Christopher Lee.

This was a very unique actor, who gave us a lot of classic characters, and performances. Christopher Lee was one of a kind, who never stopped working in films, even if he was 94 years when he passed away. Working in the film industry since his first film was released in 1948, he managed to do so many different genres, with some of the greatest actors known from Hollywood and Europe. There are so many films that are worth to mention in his career, such as Horror Express, a classic with legendary actor Peter Cushing. We should also mention the 1973 classic The Wicker Man. This film is still today proof that Christopher Lee, could do some of the greatest iconic characters in cinema. When i grew up, learning to appreciate films from the old days, i remember watching the 1958 film Dracula. It was the first time we would see Christopher Lee do his portrait of the classic character Dracula, and i must say, he fit perfect in the role. The audience loved him, and the critics praised his screen presence. Since the company Hammer Films had a huge hit, they decided that Christopher Lee should return as Dracula, in a number of sequals. I have seen most of them, some of them are alright while some of them are perhaps not so good. The strength of these films is without a doubt Christopher Lee´s performance, he would make the film more interesting with his presence. Since he passed away in june this year, i promised to write a review on one of his Hammer Film releases. I looked around at the films i have not seen yet, and decided to go for Taste The Blood Of Dracula from 1970. This was the 5th film in the series, to be released from legendary horror film company Hammer Films, that is actually said to be one of the best sequels to be released. I was very curious to see if this film could hold up to the quality of the first films, since they are such beloved classics. Is it possible that Taste The Blood Of Dracula is a great sequel as some of the critics have said in the past, or is this just a rip off to make money of fans from the old classics ?

A business man named Weller ( Roy Kinnear ) is thrown out of an carriage,  during a fight.  He lands on the ground and is knocked unconscious. As he wakes up later,  he hears someone screaming . Weller runs towards the screams and find a caped figure with a large crucifix in his back.  The caped figure dies as Weller take a closer look at his remaining clothes.  He finds a brooch covered in blood,  wipes the blood off and see the name Dracula written on it. Meanwhile,  three english gentlemen, William  ( Geoffrey Keep ), Samuel  ( Peter Sallis ) and Jeremy ( Martin Jarvis ), are at the local whorehouse.  As they are enjoying themselves with the young women,  they are confronted by a man called Courtley ( Ralph Bates ). Courtley suggest that they should follow him to Cafe Royal.  He promise that they will experience something completely different than they have ever seen before.  Turns out Courtley have a plan, to have them all to be included in a ceremony,  at an abandoned . At the ceremony Courtley mixes dried blood with his own blood, trying to make someone drink it. None of the men agree,  so Courtley drinks it himself.  He falls to the ground while the men tries to get out,  until they realise that Dracula ( Christopher Lee ) have rised again. He is determined to take them all as victims. 

When you look at a Hammer Films production from the 70´s, you know that they were unique for this period of time. They mixed in a lot of occult ingredients in many films, with some touches of satanism. You could also feel the darkness surrounding the atmosphere, something that made their films even more loved. To compare Taste The Blood Of Dracula to the 1958 film Dracula is not possible to do, because you already know that first film will always be the greatest classic. Instead, i try to look at this film for what it is, a sequel with a different plot. One of the things i found interesting here, is the settings. We get plenty of dark scenes in forest areas, in a smaller village, where everything seems like time stands still. Director Peter Sasdy was at this time, directing horror films with different plots, but also did direct another Dracula film called Countess Dracula ( not with Christopher Lee in the lead role, since this was a different story ). When it comes to sequels, we all know that many people fail to capture some of the feelng of the original movie. Even though this film is no where near as good as the original Dracula film, i still see some quality here, especially among the actors. And of course, Christopher Lee knows exactly how to make an majestic entrance, in his own unique way. In fact,  if it was not for his unique Dracula performance,  i have a feeling that this film would not be on the same quality level. Taste The Blood Of Dracula may not be the strongest sequel to the films that Christopher Lee performed as Dracula,  but it shows a nice surface of british horror darkness,  that we all loved from the 70 's cinema.  Hammer Films made some of the best looking horror films at this period of time,  and this film proves to be a part of this. A film worth seeing if you love the classic Dracula releases. 

Rating : DDD

lördag 18 juli 2015

True Story

I read a lot of newspapers, every week. I might be the only one in the family who actually sits down and read a real newspaper in paper, instead of reading it on computer. I do read articles and news online of course, but i still prefer reading on paper. I have a feeling it might have something to do growing up reading my grandfathers favourite paper Göteborgsposten, that i aslo subscribed for almost 15 years, and i still have it. I used to subscribe to Time Magazine for many years, because i loved their stories and interviews with people worldwide. When you read about what is going on in the world, you also get a different view on what is happening. Most of the time it is mostly about terrible things, but there are sunshine stories. One story that keeps coming back, is how fraud people use other peoples identities, to use them in many different ways. You would think they can catch all of them, but there are so many, police don´t have resources. But what if someone used your identity, while killing people for his own pleasure, and you have no idea someone killed in your name ? This does sound like a nightmare, but this actually happened when New York Times journalist Michael Finkel, found out a killer Christian Logo, used his name while murdering victims. Michael decided to find out more about Christian, and met him during his prison visits. I am one of those people who is always interested in seeing true stories, being filmed into movie adaptions. It is not guaranteed to be good all the time, but sometimes it can be very fascinating to go inside the story, to get a glimpse of what happened. Since i heard nothing about this film in the press, i still decided that it seemed interesting enough to take a look at. Especially because i saw that James Franco is on board, an actor i really respect for his many great performances. With no promotion at all, is True Story a very interesting look at a disturbing case, or is this a film that could have given us so much more with all this potential ?

Michael Finkel ( Jonah Hill ) is a very ambitious and successful reporter. After writing an article in The New York Times, he becomes praised by readers and other journalists. Until, inside information comes out that he might actually have written an article, with the wrong person being interviewed. Michael tries to tell his side of the story, that he knows he got the right person on the picture. They decide to let Michael Finkell go, and force him to quit. The rumour spreads, and no papers wants to hire Michael for any journalist mission. With no jobs, and nothing left to hold on to, it seems like he needs to start a new life. Until one day, when Michael gets a phone call from Another journalist, who says that a serial killer, who killed his wife and 3 Children, have been arrested in Mexico. The man known as Christian Logo ( James Franco ), have used Finkel´s name, while being on the run. Michael see his oppertunity, to make an interview with Christian, to find out why he did this, and also write a story that might get him back on top. While the interviews begin, is Christian really telling the truth, or is Michael being fooled so he can just sell more papers ?

I actually did not know anything about this film, until it got released. And considering with such great actors as Jonah Hill and James Franco , i am very surprised that people have not talked about the film True Story. This is actually a really good film, based on true facts surrounding journalist Michael Finkel. The style of the film, reminds me of Dead Man Walking, a fantastic drama film from 1995 by director Tim Robbins. You followed 2 different personalities in that film, one being the convicted killer, and the other Sister Helen, a woman who tries to help people with faith. The differences with this film, and with True Story, is that Michael Finkel managed to become a respectable journalist, thanks to Christian Logo´s fake personality. I really had no idea what to expect while watching this film, since there have been no talk about it, at least not here in Sweden. Usually when you see no interviews, no press promotion for a new film, that could be a warning sign. In this case, i don´t understand why this film was not shown in swedish cinemas. Because this is a damn good thriller drama, with acting on a high level, especially from Jonah Hill. In the past, i was not a big fan of some releases from Jonah Hill, until he made 21 Jump Street. James Franco is of course good as always, he can take on any character and make it his own. Knowing that this actually happened, makes the story more interesting, because how do you handle the situation when a serial killer used your name while killing victims ? I can´t imagine how Michael Finkel must have felt, this must have been devastating. Director Rupert Goold is not really known for any big budget film productions, because he is more known for his theatre projects. In fact, he have directed over 40 theatre productions since the 90´s, so he clearly have a big passion for theatre. When it comes to films, he have directed to tv movies, Macbeth and Richard III, 2 films i have not seen so far. True Story proves that he have an eye for telling interesting stories, and that he manage to capture the feeling from both sides. You get the perspective from Michael Finkel, and you also get to see Christian Logos personality. Could we have digged deeper into the truth ? Sure, but the message is still clear, this was a very disturbing case, and i don´t think you will know the whole truth anyway. With great looking cinematography, and with high class acting, True Story gives you a fascinating look in a case that shocked the world. Who knows, my own personal information could be stolen at anytime. If Edward Blom steals it, i would be ok with that, since he is a legend.

Rating: DDDD

onsdag 8 juli 2015

The Lazarus Effect

It is amazing how much science is developing, especially in medical treatments. Just knowing that one day, we might be able to help people, making their lives better thanks to new ways of treatments. We have come a long way, but i have a feeling a lot more will happen in the future, so i am really excited to see what will come. There will always be questions on what is possible to achieve, and where do you draw the line in helping someone ? When it comes to bringing a person back to life, this is nothing that i belive can happen in real life, and i don´t think it would be something positive. Once we die, we are not supposed to come back to life, because that is nature´s way. Experiments on humans have been in many different types of films. One of my personal favourite ones is Re-Animator from 1985. This was a film that mixed a serious issue with dark comedy and horror influences. I loved the idea of a special substance that can bring body parts, or bodies, back to life. I also remember The Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon, simply because this film had some medical perspective in the story. The difference with this film was that it was not about death, more about how far you can go with experiments once you have no limits ? But what if you loose someone, and you know you might be able to bring that person back to life ? The Lazarus Effect is an horror film that takes on this subject. This is the first horror film from director David Gelb, and one of the producers is Jason Blum, who also worked as an producer on The Purge: Anarchy. Since i am a horror fan, and love medical themed movies ( if they are good of course ), is The Lazarus Effect a film that manage to give us a treat, or is this a film that leaves a sour taste ?

Medical researchers Frank ( Mark Duplass ) and his fianceé, Zoe ( Olivia Wilde ), have discovered a serum, that is given the code name Lazarus. This serum was meant to be used to help coma patients, but instead they decide to use the serum on dead animals, to see if they can come back to life. Frank and Zoe work together on this experiment with Niko ( Donald Glover ), Clay ( Evan Peters ) and their videographer Eva ( Sarah Bolgers ). An experiment begins on a dead dog, who after a while come back to life. All their hard work have proven to be successfull, and the celebration can begin. The dog seems fine at first, but his behavior is changing. Suddenly one day, Frank and his team finds out that their university decide to shut their project down. Not only that, it is now decided that a major pharmaceutical corporation has bought out the company that funded their research. Frank refuse to stop everything, especially since he needs to prove that they are the people who have all the evidence that the serum works. So, he decide that they need to do one final experiment, waking another dog back to life. As they begin the experiment, Zoe gets an electrical shock and dies. Everyone is shocked, and end the experiment. Frank decide to try the experiment on Zoe instead, something that the rest of the team does not aprove. Eventually they have no choice, and begin the experiment. They manage to get Zoe back to life, but is she really Zoe, or is she someone else ?

While watching The Lazarus Effect, one film comes to my mind straight ahead. Does anyone remember the film Flatliners from 1990 ? In this film it was medical students, trying to see if they can see what is going on if someone is close to death, and can come back to life to explain what they have experienced. The Lazarus Effect might have a different theme on the map, but this near death experience is also here, since one human does come back to life. In the first 20 minutes, we get to learn about the main characters, and this is a good thing. To make a story interesting, make sure to show your audience that you care about the characters. After about 10 minutes later, the horror infleunces kicks in. Even if i have seen this formula before, in different films, this one manage to deliver some entertainement value. The experiemnt on waking a human back to life is the most interesting part, since this is a very sensitive issue, and the question remains if this should be possible ? Should we really be able to have this power to control human lives ? Director David Gelb have only directed one film in the past, a documentary film known as Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, a very interesting documentary about an 85 year old sushi master, who is one of the best sushi chefs of Japan. The Lazarus Effect is his first try to make a main stream movie. That he choosed to direct a horror film, is quite interesting. I would not say that The Lazarus Effect is original in any way, or tries a different view on medical experiments, but from an horror perspective this works pretty well. One of the reason why this film works, is the actor Olivia Wilde. You might remember her from the tv series House. Her performance in The Lazarus Effect give this film some stability, since she is good at playing different characters. I also enjoy seeing Mark Duplass, do a very different character from his previous work. If you have not seen him in Safety Not Guaranteed, go and buy that film, it is wonderful. The few moments that i found myself not pleased, is when we get to see what happens when Zoe begins to attack her friends. I would have liked some original ideas, some surprises. Still, if you like horror films, and love medical experminets, this is a film that might fit your taste. One thing is for sure, i am not bringing anyone back to life, we alredy have one zombie walking around, known as Keith Richards in The Rolling Stones. He is more pale than a glass of milk, that can´t be human right ?

Rating: DDD


As long as i can remember, many people in my family belive in spirits and ghosts. My dad even communicate with them daily, so he have a lot of stories to tell. I am that person who belive in things, if i see it with my own eyes. No matter if it is a ghost or an alien, i can´t belive in anything unless i see some kind of proof. I do love stories about americans, who say they were abducted by an alien, and then got pregnant by the alien. Did they give birth to an alien child ? No, so right there i really don´t think it was a real alien, more likely it was Jeff Goldblum horny as hell. Am i fascinated about paranormal activities ? Only the few times i found something that seems to be very strange, and no one can explain what really happened. Maybe it is possible to connect with the other side, and communicate with the dead. Since i am no expert, or understand everything around this, i will simply leave this to the experts. There are plenty of motion Pictures that take on the subject of people connecting with the other side. One of the biggest classics of all time, is without a doubt the 1982 film Poltergeist. Directed by Tobe Hooper, and produced by Steven Spielberg, this film really grabbed the audicence on a journey like no other. The special effects were amazing for this period of time, and the story surrounding a family being exposed to paranormal meetings from another dimension, worked very well. The film became a box office success, and critics praised both the special effects, but also the acting, especiall from Carol Anne, played by the lovely Heather O´Rourke. 2 sequels came out during the 80´s, but none of them could compare to the original film. When Heather O´Rourke tragically passed away, only 12 years old, there were no plans of making another Poltergesit film. Time passed by and there were ideas out there, if they should bring Poltergeist back on screen, but it would take almost 17 years until the decision was made. Director Gil Kenan was chosen to direct, with a brand new cast, to bring back Poltergeist to life. I will be honest and say, i was skeptical if this was a good idea, but i had to see if they managed to make a remake that paid respect to the original film. Is this remake a worthy comeback of this classic film, or is it just another worthless try to make cash, and don´t care about the legacy ?

Eric Bowen ( Sam Rockwell ) and his wife Amy Bowen ( Rosemarie Dewitt ) are looking for a new house with their three kids Kendra ( Saxon Sharbino ), Griffin ( Kyle Catlett ), and their youngest daughter Madison ( Kennedi Clements ). Since Eric was forced to quit his job, they have economical problems, but suddenly they seem to get an offer at a house that they can afford. Since they need to think about the budget, Eric and Amy agree to make this their new house. Everything seems alright, while they adjust to their new home. One day Griffin notice that Madison is talking to someone, who can´t be seen. He asks her who this person is, but does not get an honest answer. Things become even more strange, when Madison sits by the tv one night, talking to someone that seems to be located on another location, not from this world. Griffin becomes scared, when he see hand prints, reaching towards Madison. One night while Eric and Amy goes out, and Kendra is the babysitter, all hell breaks loose. All the children are attacked by some sort of spiritual force, and Madison is taken inside the other dimension. As Eric and Amy comes home, to find out Madison is missing, they seem to connect with her through the tv screen. To find out who is causing this problem, and to bring Madison back, Eric and Amy visit the Paranormal Research department for help. They are experts at communicating with spirits, and they will try and bring Madison back. When the operation goes wrong, and the team discover that this might be a case of an poltergesit, they decide to call in the occult specialist Carrigan Burke ( Jarred Harris ). Carrigan is determined to get Madison back, no matter what it takes.

I have nothing against remakes, if you use the material in a respectful way, and still throw in some suprises. This remake does start off with influences from the original film, and then the CGI kicks in. And this is where i feel kind of confused, because the special effects does not look fantastic. Some scenes feels like they were made to scare us over the top, when in fact it becomes a bit mellow. While the original film used special effects in a very intelligent way, this remake just throws everything in your face, to make it look cool, and scary. Some scenes look, ok, while some scenes does not feel scary at all. Jump scares can work, if you make them fit in a combination of creepy moments. Here it seems a bit forced, just to please fans of horror films, especially a younger audience. Director Gil Kenan, directed the entertaining childrens movie Monster House in 2006. This animated story about a house, that is actually a monster, loves human flesh, and this was a combination that i really enjoyed. For an animated film, this was a film that turned out to be better than i expected. 2 years later Gil Kenan returned to the big screen with his next film City Of Ember. A sci fi fantasy film, with a great cast like Bill Murray, Tim Robbins and Martin Landau, but it bombed worldwide at the box office. In fact, it was probably one of the biggest box office bombs of 2008. After this, it seemed that director Gil Keenan took some time off, to find the right project. Since he have now given us a remake of Poltergeist, i can see that he must have enjoyed the original film. He does try and give us some feeling of the classic, with the family discussion scenes, and when objects move by themselves. Instead of going over the top with CGI, he should have sticked to more original special effects. Make things happen that look more realistic, because honestly the CGI can´t save the problems that becomes so obvious. I do like some of the acting performances, especially from Sam Rockwell. Jared Harris is a nice surprise as the occult specialist Carrigan Burke. If you loved the original film from 1982, like i do, i suggest you watch that film instead of this remake. This remake does not give you enough to be pleased about,  even though it have some interesting moments. Horror films will never be on the same level as the classics from the 80´s, that´s why you watch them over and over again, you never get tired of them.

Rating: DD

tisdag 7 juli 2015

Kung Fu Elliot


Known for many different reasons, especially for hockey, the beautiful landscape, Justin Bieber and maple syrup. Oh, and we almost forgot Nickelback. Remember the band that took over the charts in early 2000 ? They have a new album out, and.....i listened to one single, with disco influences. Let´s just say i am now sterile after this experience. When i think of Canada, i mostly think about one legendary actor, who we still see today in smaller films. Do you remember the legedary Michael Ironside ? Bad ass, especially in V - The Series, Total Recall and Starship Troopers. I would love to see Red Scorpion 2 again, if it is possible to find. Speaking of actors, let´s think for a moment. Have we ever had an canadian action star ? Let me think.....well, i can´t remember anyone at this point. Most action actors who had some classic action film, comes from USA, or Sweden ( of course ), because the greatest action star of all time is Dolph Lundgren. How do i know ? It is written in The Decloration Of Independence. Just scroll down a few lines and you will see his name there, incredible that they knew back then that Dolph would be the answer to paradise. I have seen canadian action films, mostly B movies of course, but some of them were ok in the 90´s. Michael Dudikoff, mostly known from American Ninja, did a couple of canadian action films. If there is one thing missing in Canada, we need an canadian ninja. And we might actually have one coming, because this documentary, tells the story of Jarret Belliveau, who dream of being the first canadian ninja action star, in his first film Blood Fight. When i heard about this documentary, i just had to see it, because it did sound like the best documentary ever made. A canadian ninja, kicking ass, can you ask for anything more ? Not that long ago we got ourselves a masterpiece from Sweden, known as Kung Fury. If you have not seen it, you have to go on Youtube and check it out. Since i am a really big fan of cheesy action B films from the 70´s, 80´s and 90´s, i had to see if Kung Fu Elliot is the documentary i always dreamed of. Is this the best canadian documentary ever made, or is this a fun idea that does not deliver all the way ?

Elliot is a man, who dreams of becoming the first, and only action hero from Canada. He have made 2 really low budget action films, with the help of friends and people in town. His next film Blood Fight will be his big break through, that will prove to the world that he is the first canadian action film star. As he work on the film, a lot of details begin to cause problems, with lost scenes, accidents, and the problems in his relationship with his girlfriend Linda. On a trip to China with his class mates in chinese medecine, Elliot see his opportunity to get a bigger fan base, while Linda feels like they are slipping away. Can Elliot finish his biggest film project, and can he save his relationship with Linda ?

I can´t remember the last time i laughed, while watching a documentary. Kung Fu Elliot is so damn funny, i almost pissed in my pants when they show us how they make cheesy canadian action kung fu films. I love this so much, the idea of an canadian ninja, cleaning up the streets in an ordinary canadian town is brilliant. As we follow the film team, making these fantastic films, you will see so many funny moments, that you are guaranteed to have a good time. Like in the beginning when the lead actor is trying to sell his latest dvd action film, outside a video store. He says that it sells really well, more than thousands of copies, and just 4 people show up, looking at the dvd cover. Then we have the fighting scenes, that looks really cheesy, but so funny that you can´t stop laughing. There is also a very serious side of the story, where you understand that Elliot is living in a dream sometimes. He does not really care about jobs, paying bills, so his girlfriend is the one who have to fix almost everything. She is filming his films, why he have so many ideas how Blood Fight will be the greatest action film ever. You kind of feel sorry for Elliot, he have such a passion for old  classic martial arts films, and want to be the next action star. But when you see him in action scenes, you understand he can never be Canada´s next action star. Even though you wonder if he understands how hard this business is, you have to love him for his passion, to make B films into the future. At the same time he needs to struggle with his relationship, finding a way to finish his dream Project, and to learn how to find himself. As he goes on a trip to China, with his class mates from chinese medecine, he takes the chance to get a fanbase. As he returns home, you can tell there is tension in the air, between him and his girlfriend Linda. Blood Fight is out on hold, and problems keep on growing. Kung Fu Elliot both have some fun elements, but also the tragedy side of handling real life situations. Directors Jarret Belliveau and Matthew Bauckman have made perhaps the most important documentary film i have seen this year. This is a story that will both make you smile, and feel sadness, seeing this man struggling with his passion for B movies. But somewhere in this sadness, you also see that he will never give up his dream. This is the only thing that matters in life, and for that you can´t deny that he deserves some respect. Kung Fu Elliot is a docmentary with a lot to say about life, that taking chances is very important. We all die at some point, so it is better to reach your goals, then letting it all go. Everyone should see this documentary, and you might be inspired to follow your dreams. Kung Fu Elliot is a must see, make sure you take the time to see it.

Rating: DDDD

måndag 6 juli 2015

Summer 2015....and i am working on new reviews

Hi everyone!

I hope you enjoyed the snaps at midsummer, danced all night to Dr Alban´s new version of Lager Than Life, and enjoyed yourself watching the swedish summer rain. I will be coming up with more reviews soon, as i am getting closer to my vacation from july 20th. Then i hope to get some time to write some fresh ones, since i am quite busy somedays. The Christopher Lee tribute film review is also coming up, actually i will write it this week, along with something else. I will be going to see the new Terminator: Genisys at the cinema, and of course write a review to this one, including some other releases. Now, i have been asked about if i ever will write a review of 37 Shades Of Johan Ehreneberg ....oops sorry, spelled wrong, i mean 50 Shades Of Grey. I doubt it, besides it has been a while since it came out, and there are so many films that i still have not had time to see, so don´t count on it. I am trying to pick out different releases from early this year, and films that recently came out, just to mix things up. Keep your eyes open, protect yourself with rubber in the summer heat, and remember, the new Limp Bizkit album Stampede Of The Disco Elephants will come out....maybe in 2017, if we are lucky.

Cheers from Daniel

söndag 5 juli 2015

The Human Centipede 3

Kids, gather round. Uncle Daniel have an important story to tell.

A long, long time ago, in the year of 2009, a film called The Human Centipede made all the people happy of Frälsningsarmen. In fact, they were so happy to see this film, they danced and hugged each other all the time, everywhere. It was the most happy film ever made, and everyone felt so much love watching it. But one day, the evil Feministika Partiet tried to make it stop showing on screen. Frälsningsarmen were so sad, they just wanted to be happy people again. But then, a man known as Richard Herrey, came to town, to make sure that peace was in the air. He made sure that The Human Centipede was going to be shown everywhere, or else.....he would show Feministiska Partiet his chest hair. Feministiska Partiet know that this was their worst fear, male chest hair is like kryptonite to them. So everyone was happy again, thanks to Richard Herrey and his chest hair.

The End

That was a wonderful story, now let´s get back to the review. There are plenty of horror films where you have experiments on human bodies. One of the most classic films in this genre is without a doubt Re-Animator from 1985. A science fiction horror comedy, with so many crazy scenes including body parts, coming back to life. At the time of the release, Re-Animator became very controversial, because it was a very brutal film. Still, both film critics and the audience praised this film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft episodic novella " Herbert West Re-Animator ". The film adaptation of Re-Animator proved to be a very well made B horror film, from director Stuart Gordon. The ídea of a special liquid, turning dead humans back to life, could almost sound like another version of Frankenstein. But it was actually more original, and that made this an 80´s classic. Plenty of films were released on the subject, turning people back to life, or killing people in different ways. But in 2009, we actually got to see an original horror film, that most of you know as The Human Centipede. This is a horror film, that tried a different approach on human surgery, where a mad surgeon, begin to sewing people together. It was not an box office success, but people seemed to enjoy the concept, and it sold well on dvd. A sequel was of course released, not sucessfull either, but with worse reviews than the first film. Director Tom Six got a lot of attention thanks to these films in the horror community, where fans were curious to see his next project. So, when the news came out, he is making a final film in The Human Centipede series, no one was really sure what Tom Six would do this time. So here we are, and i just got a chance to see his latest sequel. Is this third film almost as good as the original film, or is this one of those sequels you are guaranteed to forget ?

Bill Boss ( Dieter Laser ), is one of the toughest prison wards you could meet. He is in control, and do whatever he feels like doing. His accountant Dwight Butler ( Laurence R. Harvey ), is making sure that everything works around Bill, including the massive paper work. After Bill have an confrontation with Inmate 297 ( Robert Lasardo ), Bill decide to cut off his testicales and have them cooked. Governor Hughes ( Eric Roberts ) comes to visit the prison, telling Bill that they need to clean up their brutal ways with prisoners. or he will make sure they are all fired. Dwight suggest to Bill, that they should sew the inmates together, mouth towards anus, so they can make a ginat human prison centipede, to be in full control of the prisoners.  Director of The Human Centipede films, is invited to the prison, to have his blessing for them, to use his idea. The prisoners are shown what will happen to them, they protest but stand no chance against Bill´s backup prison guards. The massive surgeries are about to begin, and Bill is really excited about the final results. Will Governor Hughes be impressed and let them continue their work with prisoners ?

If you did enjoy the first film of Human Centipede, then i suggest you should read this before checking out this third film. The strength of the first film, was that it was very disturbing, and had a plot that felt different, and original enough to stand by itself. The second film was very different, but purhaps not the sequel that i was hoping for. One positive thing with the sequel was that it did not repeat itself from the first film, but still not good enough to enjoy completely. I was actually hoping that this third ( final ? ) film would be something really special, with a very different turn in the Human Centipede series. When i saw the promo trailer, with Eric Roberts showing up inside a prison, my expectations went higher. Simply because i loved the idea of seing Eric Roberts back on screen. After watching this film, i ask myself....what the hell is this ? I know it says Human Centipede 3, but for a sequel, this must be a joke. Where do i start ? The acting is really bad, and the dialogue is awful in so many scenes. Does Eric Roberts save the day ? Not really, he is fun to watch for a little while, but he can´t do anything for this film to be any better. In this third chapter, director Tom Six tries to use more humour, and mix it all with the centipede substance. It does not work. This feels like a cheap way to try and just make money on a film, that everyone talked about in 2009, when the first film came out. Is there gore here ? Of course, but do we really care ? The Human Centipede 3 is without a doubt a bad film, and not even in a good way. Some scenes are so bad, you do laugh, but not because you are enjoying yourself. Tom Six even shows up in this film, as the director of The Human Centipede films, trying to help the prison with the centipede idea. He is basically trying to make this look like they are making a real centipede, in real life. Lead actor Dieter Laser is so over the top, as the warden Bill Boss, you can at least laugh for his performance. Laurence R. Harvey is back, this time as the wardens accountant Dwight Butler. In the end, The Human Centipede 3 is a big mess, with perhaps the strangest concept so far for this franchise. I really hope this is the last film, because this was not the final chapter we wanted. Where is Uwe Boll when you really need him ?

Rating: D

Jurassic World

As a kid, i was really interested in dinosaurs. I had books about dinosaurs, dinosaur toys, and one sticker album where you collected stickers of dinosaurs. I remember being very fascinated about tyrannosaurus rex , it was hard to imagine that a dinsasour that size have actually lived on planet earth. I remember visiting museums, both with my parents, but also with school at some point. I was always fascinated by the biggest dinosaurs, maybe because many of them looked so dangerous. As i grew older, and started finding movies to be my biggest passion, i remember walking into the theatre in 1993, to see a new film by Steven Spielberg called Jurrasic Park. After walking out of the cinema, i remember i had a great smile on my face. This was exactly how a cinema experience should be. Fantastic special effects, great action scenes, and great acting included. But i do remember one thing that i did not like. The swedish release was cut, just for almost a minute, or two, but i found that to be silly. For you who grew up in 1993, might remember that this was a year with a lot of violence films. Jurassic Park was not too violent to cut it, in my opinion. I waited a long time to get this film on VHS, for some reason they decided to wait with the release, so of course i ran down and bought it on the release date. Watched this film several times, until i waited for the sequel that finally came out in 1997. Jurassic Park: Lost World, turned out to be a fun ride, with more dinosaurs and more action scenes than before. Not as good as the first movie of course, but at least not a bad sequel. 4 years later, Jurassic Park came back a third time in 2001. At this point i remember that i did not really care about the third film, because it felt more like a remake, than a sequal. The film did get a profit, but nowhere near the previous films. After the third film stopped showing in cinemas, it seemed as we would not get a new film for quite some time. There were rumours, if a film was going to be made, would Spielberg return as the director ? That never happened, so no one seemed to be ready to make a sequel. Not until almost 15 years later, when director Colin Trevorrow decided to direct the 4th film. With no high expectations at all, i decided to see if this was a worthy sequel after so many years. Is Jurrasic World a new fresh improved start for this classsic franschise, or is this just a sequel you will probably forget ?

22 years have passed, since the incident happened at Jurassic Park. The bioengineering company InGen operates a new park, Jurassic World, on the same island. The whole island is now more of a tourist location, gathering people from all over the world to learn more about dinosaurs. InGen have made sure that Jurrasic World is even bigger than Jurassic Park was. There are more dinosaur species, but this also include a lot more security. Brothers Zach ( Nick Robinson ) and Gray Mitchell ( Ty Simpkins ), are sent to the Island to spend time with their aunt, Claire Dearing ( Bryce Dallas Howard ), the parks operation manager. Unfortunately, Claire is too busy to spend time with the boys, so she asks her assistant to be the boys personal guide. Owen Grady ( Chris Pratt ), is training Velociraptors, making sure that they obey his commands. Vic Hoskins ( Vincent D´Onofrio ), head of InGen's security, have a vision of using the Velociraptors in military training. Owen does not like the idea, because he knows they can´t be trusted. While Zach and Gray is out on the guided tour ride, they decide to sneak away, and explore Jurassic World on their own. They eventually find their way into the forest, but are trapped while being attacked by an Indominus, one of the most dangerous dinosaurs. Claire finds out the boys are trapped out there. It seems as the Indominus escaped, and is now on the run. Owen knows he need to find a way to stop the Indominus before innocent people will be killed, and locate the young boys.

I think most people would agree that the first Jurassic Park film was spectacular when it came out in 1993. This was something we have never seen before, when it came to dinosaur films. A park filled with dinosaurs, that have come back into our civilization, to live in harmony. Of course, that is something that does not work. You can´t expect to make dinosaurs adjust and not attack us, they are predators like many other animals. The sequel Jurassic Park: Lost World was actually a good sequel, more intensive action, and Peter Stormare swearing in swedish language. The tird film was not bad, i did enjoy the special effects, but it felt like the film makers were running out of ideas. Jurrassic Park 3 proved that it was harder to make this franschise stay alive. So, it took almost 15 years to finally release another film, and i think we needed a long break from these dinosaurs. We needed a film that was going to make this right again, and.....Jurassic World does deliver, but maybe´not as much as i was hoping for. I love the CGI effects, the dinosaurs look really good, and there are some new elements here that we have not seen before. My problem with Jurassic World, is that there are not many original scenes here. I would have liked to be really surprised, by a different twist, or perhaps that something unexpected suddenly happens. There is one scene though i really liked, when the kids found an old Jurassic Park car, from the first park back in the 90´s, hidden in an old building. That gives this film some nostalgia feeling. Chris Pratt is actually a great leading role, as the fearless Owen Grady. He kind of remind me of Indiana Jones in some scenes, but without the hat and no whip. Ty Simpkins is also good, as the Claire´s nephews. If you liked his performances in Insidious 1 and 2, you won´t be dissapointed with his character in this film. Director Colin Trevorrow have directed some films earlier, especially a really good film called Safety Not Guaranteed. It was one of the best drama comedy releases in 2012, and i still enjoy it just as much still today. I would never have guessed that he would be chosen to direct Jurassic World, and i have to say he have managed to give us a film that should please most fans of the earlier films. With that said, i am not sure if he did not want to try a different approach with this film, if he was afraid that fans would complain. I wish he would have taken that chance, and done something unique with this story, when you recognize yourself from earlier films. I enjoy the action sequences, and most of the acting, but i miss some suprises along the way. Jurassic World is not a bad Jurassic film, not at all. If you loved the previous films, i have a feeling you won´t be dissapointed. There are plenty of dinosaurs, even a different version of the Jurassic Park that we are used to, now known as Jurassic World. If you want to watch a summer action film, this could be what you are looking for. Now, excuse me for a moment, those damn Velociraptors are eating my corn fields again, i bet the flame thrower will scare them away.

Rating: DDD