måndag 30 november 2015


Child actors come and go, and only a few manage to continue their careers after they grow as adults. We all know what happened to Macaulay Culkin. In the end of the 80´s, we noticed his potential in Uncle Buck with John Candy. He became a superstar in the comedy Home Alone, and seemed to be unstoppable. The sequel Home Alone 2 also was a massive hit in the box office, but things were about to change. When he did a thriller called The Good Son, in 1993, the audience, or the critics were not so pleased. I remember the film, and to be honest, it was not very good. At that time, when i was 16 years old, i might have enjoyed it. But looking back, i feel that it was just a try to make a simple thriller, just to make money at the box office. Speaking of the film The Good Son, we also noticed another child actor named Elijah Wood. You could tell that they were both different, from an acting perspective. While Macaulay Culkin´s career was going down the drain, Elijah Wood managed to continue working in the movie industry, and made himself known for his acting ability. One of the earliest proofs where Elijah Wood showed his acting skills, was in a film from 1997, called Ice Storm, by director Ang Lee. This is a very good drama film, with really good acting also from Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire and Joan Allen. The film was a box office bomb ( unfortunately ), but critics loved the film. It is one of those films not many people heard about, that should have found a bigger audience. The whole world probably knew who Elijah Wood was, when he took the role as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson´s version of The Lord Of The Rings. With 2 more sequels, that became massive box office hits all over the world, Elijah Wood was now on everyone´s lips. Some actors might just go and make films, that are guaranteed to be box office hits, but Elijah proofed himself by doing smaller films, most of the time. One of the films, that had an amazing cast, for such a limited budget, was a film called Bobby. Some of the actors in this film is Sharon Stone, Anthony Hopkins, Christian Slater, Shia LaBeouf, Helen Hunt, Laurence Fishburne, Ashton Kutcher and many more. If you have not seen this one, i recommend that you do rent it. Not that long ago, Elijah Wood was the lead actor in a very good thriller called Grand Piano. I simply loved this film, because it had a very intelligent plot. How many of you would have guessed that Elijah Wood would show up in a zombie film ? I never would have guessed, but with the film Cooties, it looks like he is trying this genre. Since he is such a great actor, and have tried so many different characters, and genres, does he fit into the zombie horror genre really well, or should he have stayed away from this ?

In the small town of Ft. Chicken, horror writer Clint Hudson ( Elijah Wood ) have moved back to his hometown, after trying to live in New York. He agree to work extra, as an teacher at Ft. Chicken Elementary. There in the coffee room, Clint meet his high school crush, Lucy McCormick ( Alison Pill  ), who works here as an teacher. It seems that he still have feelings for her, after all these years. One of Clint´s students called Shelly Linker ( Sunny May Allison ), have eaten a chicken nugget with black spots. She begins to act strange, and her face is changing. Not knowing what is happening to her, Clint is shocked to see Shelly attack a student, biting a flesh wound in his face. This is just the beginning of a virus outbreak, where the kids are becoming affected, and turned into zombies. Clint and Shelly, get together with the other teachers Wade Johnson ( Rain Wilsson ), Tamra ( Morgan Lily ), Tracy Lacy ( Jack McBrayer ) and their collegues, just to hide and protect themselves. They have no idea how to stop these infected kids, and they have no idea how to get out. They will have to figure out, how to survive, without any help from the outside.

Some of you might think that this is a pure horror film. The fact is that this is more of a horror comedy. There is an horror undertone within the plot, but it is basically mostly built on comedy material. If you are not a fan of zombies, i doubt Cooties will change your mind. Besides, you have to appreciate this genre to enjoy the substance. One of the things that makes Cooties a fun experience, is the mixture of classic horror ingredients, combined with characters that have some serious big problems, on a personal level. One of the funniest scenes in the film, is when the teachers meet Elijah´s character in the coffee room, where he finds out they love Jason Patric, especially from his films The Lost Boys and...Speed 2. I just love it when they look serious, as if they loved Speed 2, when in fact most people in this world hated that sequel. If you by some reason have not seen Speed 2, be happy that you skipped it.  The biggest advantage of Cooties, is the teacher characters, especially the character known as Wade Johnson, played by Rainn Wilson. His 80´s style fits the school so bad, you just have to love him, and of course the fact that he loves Jason Patric. I also enjoy the character Tracy Lacy, played by Jack McBrayer. He both looks feminine, and i just love the scene where he says that he played with his tennis coach hairy balls. Of course, that is the first thing you want to tell your collegues at work. Director Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion have made a film, that reminds me of another version of The Faculty meets Dawn Of The Dead. It is not hard to understand that we are not dealing with anything original, but that is ok. This is still a fun tribute to many films from the past, and who does not love zombie kids ? There is blood, guts, flesh wounds, and other classic elements here that we have seen many times before. But from a B movie perspective, Cooties deliver, especially thanks to the great cast. Shaun Of The Dead is still the funniest horror comedy in modern times, and it looks like no title will beat that film. Still, i do enjoy a good time, and Cooties does not fail to please me. I am pretty sure i could be the greatest zombie killer ever, besides, i have 3 seasons on dvd with Miami Vice. I have learned everything i need to know from Don Johnson.

Rating: DDD

In december, it is time for another Shout! Factory blu ray review

Hello everyone!

Daniel here, Sweden´s greatest film critic of all time. For those of you who have been following my movie review blog, you know i throw out some surprises sometimes. So it was a while ago i did any reviews on the blu ray releases from Shout! Factory, who bring out old movies, on new releases. Last time i did a review was the film Monkey Shines, by director George A. Romero, so i think it is time to do another one before the year ends.

This time i have chosen a film i have not seen yet, it is called I, Madman. This film was directed by Tibor Takácks, a man who have made both films and tv series. I actually noticed that he directed Sabrina Goes To Rome, a film that i hope he regrets doing. But we are here to talk about his horror film I, Madman, that i will post a review on in december.  I will come back with more reviews from Shout! Factory in 2016, because i know a lot of people love this company who put out old forgotten films, in brand new editions. Thanks for reading my reviews, more are coming up in december, so stay tuned.

Cheers from Daniel

söndag 29 november 2015

Last Shift

I enjoy working night shifts. In my youth, i used to work night shifts, both at a company called Odal, and at different health care homes. Sometimes it was hard, since you had to stay awake all night long. So i used a lot of coffee, and energy drinks to make it work. One of the problems with working night shifts, is that your sleep does not always get enough hours. But, since the payment was better, and i did not mind the late hours, i choosed to stay instead of going back to daytime shifts. One of the things i do remember, is working with some very strange patients, who could be very odd at night. I can´t really go into what happened, because of rules, but there were some creepy moments. To be able to work night shifts, you have to be able to adjust yourself, both mentally and physically. I can tell you all the times i fell asleep, on the bus, going home. I remember people had to wake me up, just to let me know that the bus end station is almost there. Nowdays i work 25 hours shifts, in health care, and i like it very much. Long shifts, but more free time to plan all kinds of activities. There are a lot of occupations where you have to work night shifts. Just look at Police Officers, who have to be out on the streets, no matter what the situation is. You have to admire them, for putting up with all kinds of difficult situations, and i feel that people need to stop talking shit about police. Sure, everyone may not be good, but in general i belive we need to trust them. They are only humans, who dedicate their lives to protect and serve. Now, let´s imagine something in our minds. Think about yourself as an police officer, working a night shift in an abandon police station, while strange things are happening ? Does not sound like the perfect way to spend the weekend. New horror film Last Shift seems to bring this subject into the storyline. I accidently heard about this film on an podcast, where 2 film critics were talking about new releases, and their own recommendations. I never heard of Last Shift before, but after listening to the podcast, i decided that i had to check it out. When i noticed that Last Shift is directed by Anthony DiBlasi, i remembered his film Cassadaga from 2011. This was a low budget horror film, that actually had some nice treats along the way. Curious to see his latest film, is this the best work so far from director Anthony DiBlasi, or is he running out of ideas, like most Hollywood directors are ?

Police officer Jessica Loren ( Juliana Harkavy ) is asked to do a last shift, in an abandoned police station. As she arrives, she gets all the information she needs from a police officer, who give her a round tour of the building. She is told to just be in the building, until her shift is over. After a while, at the beginning of the shift, she is getting phone calls from a woman, saying she is in trouble. Jessica tries to find out who the woman is, but the call breaks up. Jessica contact dispatch, where she is told not to use the phone. And she is also told that if the woman contacts her again, she have to call 911 instead. As the night shift becomes late, strange things begin to happen. A homeless man is suddenly standing in the entrance, peeing on the floor. She throws him out, but later finds him inside the building again, up on a shelf. She decides to lock him up, since he can not walk around like this. As the night goes on, strange things begin to happen in different rooms, and Jessica see strange people showing up from nowhere. What seemed to be an ordinary night shift, is soon becoming a nightmare.

To be honest people, i am very pleased. Last Shift is actually one of the better horror films released this year, and i will explain why. This is a very simple horror film, but what makes Last Shift work so well is the camera work by director Anthony DiBlasi, and the lead actor Juliana Harkavy. The atmosphere with the well made camera angles, makes this film more creepy than many other mainstream releases. The religious theme, that is presented later on in the film, fits really good with the plot, when you put the pieces together of what is going on. Another detail that i like, is that the whole film takes place in the same building, and still you never get bored, because of director Anthony DiBlasi´s visual direction. I would not say that there are many fresh ideas here, but once you get the puzzle, and what the message is, i still feel that the concept feels tasteful. While watching Last Shift, i noticed that director Anthony DiBlasi might be influenced by John Carpenter´s classic film Assault On Precint 13 from 1976. That film takes place inside a police station, but with a completely different plot. The characters are not that many, if you look at the few actors who shows up for a few minutes. But that´s ok, lead actor Juliana Harkavy manage to make the film interesting with her presence. If you have been watching The Walking Dead, you might remember her character Alisha from Season 4. She have also been in a couple of films, like the film Dolphin Tale, who is popular among family movies. I would say that this might be the best performance i have seen her do, in Last Shift, outside of The Walking Dead series. Hopefully she have something else interesting waiting for us to see in 2016. It is great to see that horror films are not completely knocked out in 2015, that we still have some hope left. Last Shift may not be original, or will change the horror genre in any way, but this is still better than i have expected. I suggest you give this film a chance, who knows, you might actually find yourself having a good time.

Lesson learn kids, never get a night shift inside an abandoned building, The Dansband Demons might attack you, when you least expect it.

Rating: DDD

Close Range

When i grew up as a kid, most of my family loved watching swedish comedies, swedish drama series. I tried to watch this also, and the only film i can remember that at least was pretty funny was called Sunes Sommar. One of the few swedish family movies that shows what swedes are like on camping vacation. But i always had a passion, looking for something else. And it all started with my grandmother Maj, who let me watch horror movies, even if i was too young. I discovered brutal violence, murders, and martial arts of course. VHS video violence became a lifestyle, that gave me a better view on the world. I have talked about this subject many times before, and when it comes to writing reviews on action films, this becomes an important issue. Without Chuck Norris, Dolph Lungren, Bruce Lee, Michael Dudikoff or Jean-Claude Van Damme, i would not be the intelligent man i am today. So how does video violence give you intelligence ? Let me explain really simple. You can´t solve all problems by paper, that´s why you use special kicks or an M60, to clean up the mess. You see politicians of Sweden, i should be the next prime minister, since you need bigger balls.

Let´s get back to the review.

Ever since martial arts became very popular, from the early days of Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and David Carradine, i have followed many great action stars along the way. Remember Billy Blanks, Don " The Dragon Wilson, or perhaps Bolo Yeung ? The 80´s and 90´s will always be close to my heart. back in those days the budget did not matter, it was all about making action films with cheesy dialogue. B action movies are still being made even today, but there are some differences. In the movie industry today, you can make really well made action films for a very low budget. What you need is a director with a vision, and who knows his classic B movie elements, combined with the right lead actor. One actor who can do almost anything look great, is without a doubt legendary actor Scott Adkins. He is fantastic in martial arts, and he knows how to make action films look great. One more detail that we should mention, is that he is not a terrible actor, because he is one of the few who can combine acting in action films. One of my personal favourite films with Scott Adkins, is without a dout Ninja - Shadow Of A Tear. This is a really insane action film, so well made that your nuts will most likely explode of joy. If you have not seen it yet, go down and buy it on dvd, or blu ray. It is one of those films that should be next to your The Godfather dvd collection. Another film we have to mention is of course Universal Soldier - Day Of Reckoning. An action film so good, you never want it to stop, with the amazing cast of Scott Adkins, Dolph Lundgren, Jean - Claude Van Damme and Andrei Arlovski. One of the things i love about Scott Adkins, is that he is very passionate about keeping the B movie industry alive, telling people to support the films he and many other actors make. I try to tell people all the time, that we need to show our support, to make sure that B action films can be made in the future. So whenever i see that Adkins releases another film, i am always there to check his latest projects out. Close Range is a film i recently got a chance to see, with Adkins of course, doing another action film for B movie lovers. Since i have always been a fan of his work, is this film another proof that he knows what he is doing, or is his choice of films becoming weaker for each year ?

Colton MacReady ( Scott Adkins ) is an ex military, who is sent to rescue his estranged niece Hailey Reynolds ( Madison Lawlor ). She is a prisoner of the mexican drug cartel, but Colton manage to get inside and clean up the place. He takes Hailey with him back to her home, but the happy reunion does not last very long. Corrupted Sheriff Jasper Calloway ( Nick Chinlund ) is send my drug lord Fernando Garcia ( Tony Perez ), to take care of Colton. He fails, as well as his men, to finish the job. Fernando have already a back up plan, as he sends out his crew, including Lobo ( Anthony L. Fernandez ), Victor Garcia ( Ray Diaz ), Ignacio ( Julien Cesario ) among others. Colton stole a very important USB stick, with very sensitive information, that no one is supposed to know about. Fernando will do anything to get the USB stick back, no matter how many people will be killed.

Earlier this year, people were hysterical about 50 Shades Of Grey, because it was supposed to be so erotic and so emotional. I did watch the film, but i ended up wondering what the big fuzz is all about ? I think people need to understand that these kinds of movies are not the ones who are supposed to be shown in cinemas worldwide. You can watch naked girls at the local strip club, or just buy a dvd of Rocco Invades Poland instead, and get more value instead of 50 Shades Of Grey. I think this is the time, where B action movies should get more respect, and shown for audiences worldwide, so a younger generation can learn what quality is all about. If we could have had Ninja - Shadow Of A Tear on screen in almost every country, i have a feeling that people would have cared less about 50 Shades. Close Range may not be as good as Ninja - Shadown Of A Tear, but this is still a pretty solid action film, that fits for a Friskis & Svettis christmas dinner evening. We have the classic elements of a revenge story, and we have the drug cartel ingredients we have seen before. Even if Close Range brings nothing new to the genre, or something unexpected, it is nice sometimes just to get some kick ass action brought to your family gathering. Scott Adkins still does what he knows best, using his brutal martial arts fighting skills, and shows how you should do in congress, instead of talking statistics. Director Isaac Florentine have worked together with Scott Adkins in many of his films, like Undisputed 2, Undisputed 3, Ninja, and the really good sequel Ninja - Shadow Of A Tear. He is a good action director, and you can tell that he have passion for this genre. If we compare the other films that Isaac Florentine have made together with Adkins, in the past, Close Range definetely looks different. This is a different revenge story from the Ninja films, with some other details. That the film takes place in the desert areas of Arizona, makes me think of Walker Texas Ranger. I can even see influences from Lorenzo Lamas old classic tv show Renegade here. The acting is not that great from the cast, so the only thing that matters is the action scenes. The plot is very simple, and you don´t have to think too much. Close Range is a classic action film, almost made as this is a tribute to Walker Texas Ranger, but without a sheriff in Chuck Norris clothes. I would probably say this is not one of the better films, with the duo of Florentine and Adkins, but have enough entertainment value for B movie lovers. I still recommend that you see Ninja - Shadow Of A Tear, if you want to see a really good Scott Adkins film. If you did enjoy Walker Texas Ranger in the 90´s, then Close Range will bring you back into that atmosphere. I feel like dressing up in tight jeans, with a shirt and a cowboy hat. But don´t tell anyone i am going to Ray´s Bar for a brokeback ride, a true gentleman never reveal their secrets.

Rating: DDD

söndag 22 november 2015

Red Sonja

Let´s go back in time, to a year where film studios still made some really fun 80´s movies. The year we are about to enter is 1985. Most people would think of Michael J. Fox in the cult classic Back To The Future. But we have some more films to discuss on this year. Does anyone of you remember Iron Eagle, the action film about a young pilot, who travels to the middle east to save his father from terrorists ? This was a year before Top Gun, and if you ask me personally, i enjoyed Iron Eagle more, especially with Louis Gosset, Jr as an retired vietnam war hero. The song One Vision, by legendary rock band Queen, also made this film fit the concept. David Suchet, who have played Agatha Christie´s Poirot, in many tv films, was great as the terrorist leader. So what else is worth remembering in 1985 ? One film that i think many people should see, that most of you have probably forgotten is Terry Gilliam´s crazy science fiction film Brazil. This is a very odd combination of styles, and looks really good, considering being made in the middle of the 80´s. The cast is also great, how about Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Jonathan Pryce and Ian Holm, included in the cast ? If you have not seen it, i suggest you buy the dvd, it is worth having in your collection. If you do get your hands on the blu ray release, i know that this includes a longer version of the film. Have you ever heard of the name Richard Fleischer ? Maybe a bell will ring inside your head if i say Conan The Destroyer ? Yes, the director of the sequel to the cult film Conan The Barbarian. The first film was really good, so the sequel was not on the same level, in fact, it was pretty silly in some moments. But from an entertaining perspective, there was some details that made the film fun to watch, including Arnold Schwarzenegger´s hair style. So just a year after Conan The Destroyer was released, director Richard Fleischer decided to direct a film adaptation of the Marvel comic book character Red Sonja. Birgitte Nielsen was chosen to become Red Sonja, the danish woman who took Hollywood by storm in the 80´s, being in several big Hollywood films, like Cobra with Sylvester Stallone, and Beverly Hills Cop 2 with Eddie Murphy. Arnold also said yes to do a different character, that looks like Conan, but with more dialogue. Since it is 30 years ago, Red Sonja came out, i decided to look back and see what i feel about this movie today. Is this a sword fighting film, that still deliver entertainment , after so many years, or is Red Sonja a bad transformation of a comic book character, that should have been left untouched ?

Red Sonja ( Birgitte Nielsen ) is raped, and left on the ground, while her family home is burned down by Queen Gedren´s ( Sandahl Bergman ) men, where her parents are killed, including her brother. Red Sonja wakes up, as she is confronted by a spirit, who give her the strength to seek revenge. Lord Kalidor ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ) finds wounded Varna ( Janet Agren ). She have escaped from her temple, where Queen Gedren´s army killed her friends, and she is the only survivor. Varna asks Kalidor to find her sister, and bring her back to her. Kalidor goes out on a journey to find Red Sonja. Kalidor manage to locate her training, with a sword master. He inform her of her sister´s bad health, and she goes with him. Just as Red Sonja arrives, Varna only manage to tell her some details, before she passes away. Since her whole family is now dead, Red Sonja rides towards Queen Gedren´s castle to finish her for good.

If you think that Red Sonja is just like Conan The Barbarian, but a female version, i would say that is not completely true. Since we are dealing with a completely different character, you can clearly see that there is a different message with the film. There are influences here, from Conan, no doubt about that, but i would say that Red Sonja is more of a feminist warrior. She fights, kills with her sword, but also try and do what´s right, while Conan would probably just kill anyway. I like the fact that we get to see more women fight, with swords, in a temple scene, almost in the beginning of the film. This gives the tone of the film, a positive touch, that women are not afraid to stand back against evil. Birgette Nielsen in the lead role as Red Sonja, may not be a good actor, but she does handle the sword battles pretty well, and looks tough. Sandahl Bergman, who also were in the first Conan The Barbarian film, is now the evil Queen Gedren in Red Sonja. Not the greatest cinema villain we have seen, but functional. Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually a more sensitive guy in this film, with his long hair. His dialogue is actually the best part of this film, because he is acting really bad. There are some scenes where he tries to sound emotional, and i just cant stop laughing. You got to love Arnold for being who he is, even if he does not always choose the best characters. I know that Arnold himself have said that Red Sonja is one of the films he does not like in his career, and i can understand why in some ways. At the same time, i see Red Sonja as a fun tribute to sword films, with some entertainment value for the fans of Conan The Barbarian. When i listened to the interview with assistant director Michel Ferry, of Red Sonja, he expained some interesting details that i have never heard before. For example, Arnold was only supposed to shoot a couple of scenes, but ended up staying on set much longer than planned. The budget was also much more expensive, because Arnold demanded a certain amount of payment to do the film. I also understand that Birgitte Nielsen was not happy with the film, because she did not like the portrait of Red Sonja. Looking at this film 30 years later, i can still say that i see some entertainment value here. Is the acting bad ? Yes, but better than any of Helena Bergströms movies, so that is a good sign. I think that director Richard Fleischberg at least tried to give us an image of Red Sonja. Could he have made a better film ? Of course, there are many things he could have improved. But with the cheesy dialogue, Arnolds terrible dramatic scenes, and the sword fights, we still get some entertainment here worth watching. I am interested in this new Red Sonja remake, that have been talked about since 2010. From what i understand so far, director Simon West, who directed The Expendables 2, could be the director who makes this remake come to life. Until then, sit back at home, order a pizza, and a couple of beers, and just have fun with 80´s nostalgic sword fight action. I suggest you watch the blu ray, with the interesting interviews, nice to hear stories from the set of this box office bomb.

Rating: DDD

lördag 21 november 2015

Coming this sunday, its the 30th Anniversary of Red Sonja

Greetings everyone 

This is Daniel once again,  coming with an update.  On sunday i will be posting the 30th Anniversary of the film Red Sonja. Can you imagine it was 30 years ago Birgitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the same movie together? 

Now i know that some people think this is a horrible film,  and the reason why I bring it up now is because a remake is going to be made. Yes, you did not read wrong. A remake of Red Sonja, that cant be bad right? 

Another reason why I am writing this review is because it is almost 10 years ago since the director of Red Sonja, Richard Fleischer died in 2006, and its soon 2016. Now Richard did direct the Conan The Barbarian sequel Conan The Destroyer,  so he should be remembered.  He even directed Mr Majestyk with Charles Bronson, a classic indeed.  So on sunday get ready to celebrate 30 years of Red Sonja. 

Cheers from Daniel 

onsdag 18 november 2015


Reality tv shows are really popular, at least most of them. You can follow people doing all kinds of strange jobs, or just follow families who have 12 kids, and barely have time to change diapers. We also have reality shows where we get to follow the work behind police officers, trying to clean up the streets from drugs, guns and prostitution. Cops, is probably the longest showing reality show on tv, and i have seen a couple of episodes. If there is one thing you learn from this show, and many other similar ones, is that criminals are usually very dumb. Maybe it is the drugs fault, or maybe many criminals never had the chance to learn to read, or go to school like many other kids or teenagers do. Either way, stay away from drugs, criminal gangs, and do much better things, like water gymnastics with Carolina Gynning. Each year we get so many reality tv shows, i can barely keep up with the latest ones. Am i sad about that ? Not really, i find most of them quite boring. So what would i do as a reality tv show ? Let´s see. How about having Britt Ekland going around the world, finding out different sex traditions in different countries, with Harald Treutiger as her companion ? Now that is a brilliant idea, sometimes i am shocked how easy i can combine fantastic combinations. Speaking of reality tv shows, how would you like to see a special military team, on a mission to wipe out zombies ? This sounds wonderful indeed, as if this was made to please the audience of Familjen Annorlunda. Here we have a film called Re-Kill, based on an idea of a reality tv show, where we get to follow a special force, sent out to wipe out the living dead. I noticed something special with this film, in the cast list. Scott Adkins is here ? Halleluja, the ass kicking actor from Ninja - Shadow Of A Tear and The Expendables 2, seems to be a part of this team. I am actually reviewing another film with Scott Adkins later on this month, so keep your eyes open. Since i am a big fan of zombie films, ever since the early days of George A. Romero, i had to see if this film had something special to bring to the genre. So a reality tv show, about killing zombies sounds like a fun combination. Is this the best idea for this genre in a long time, or is the zombie genre dying out of ideas completely ?

A reality tv show called Re-Kill, is showing the audience how a team of trained special soldiers, are sent out in the streets to wipe out all threats, where zombies are located. The team called R-Division, is led by team leader Sarge ( Roger R. Cross ), who makes sure everyone will follow orders, and kill anything that stands in their way. The team includes Matthews ( Daniella Alonso ), the only woman in the team, who is tough as hell. Parker ( Scott Adkins ) is a man with no fear, and is always ready to kill, no matter how brutal he have to be. Winston ( Bruce Payne ) is a man who follow the word of God, and tries to stay clear with his faith. Together with the rest of team members, they all try and make sure everyone is safe. The camera man ( Owen Davis ) follow the team, wherever they go on their next mission. The chances of survival is getting smaller, but Sarge is confident that they have to find another way out of this hell.

A tv reality show with zombies would probably be the greatest idea in tv history, if it ever was to happen. Now, i know the chances of zombies coming back to life in reality, is just as big as the chance of Peter André releasing a good album ( that will never happen ). But the idea of this film, made as a reality tv show called Re-Kill, is a pretty fun concept. There is a lot of brutal violence, so there is no chance you will be bored, like watching a math expert holding a bloody boring speech. The concept have been done before, in a british tv mini series called Dead Set. This mini series showed what happens, when a group of people are stuck in a Big Brother house, while the rest of the world is attacked by flesh eating zombies. The concept was pretty unique, and i can´t think of many films that have used this formula in the zombie genre. Re-Kill was actually finished in 2010, but didn´t get released until now in 2015. Why ? I have no good answer, maybe it just did not have a distribution company, or maybe it was hard to put it out because of economical situation ? Either way, Re-Kill is a fast, and brutal action horror film, with both classic zombie elements thrown into a tv reality show. I will say that the plot is very thin here, you basically just follow this military team trying to finish their mission. And if the film would have been like this all the time, i might have become tired of the concept. Luckily, director Valeri Milev, decided to throw in some funny commercials between the tv show, with everything from sex, medicines, and stories from how some people survived the outbreak. This is actually a great idea, to make it feel more like a reality tv show, just taking a short break. The acting is ok, i would not go much further on that subject. It is the intensive action scenes that makes this film fun to watch, combined with the funny commercials. Director Valeri Milev have directed 2 films, Code Red, and Wrong Turn 6 ( that i have not seen yet, since the 5th film was really awful. I would say that he have managed to make a different effort in the zombie genre, without breaking any important rules. Scott Adkins is of course here also, with a bad attitude that fits him great. Bruce Payne, remember him from Passenger 57 ? He is also in the cast, nice to see him still making films. Re-Kill is a fun moment, if you just feel like bringing out some ice cold beers, and chill in your sofa. I have seen better zombie films than this, but it is functional for what it is, a pure action horror film. I feel like killing some zombies right now, anyone know a good location where i might find them ? I promise, i will only do head shots, or chop some arms off, i always try to stay classy.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 17 november 2015

The Transporter Refuled

There is a rule in Hollywood. Remake anything, as long as you can make a profit. That does also include prequels, and we get a lot of those in these days. I heard yesterday, that there is a Memento remake on the way. Really bad idea, how are they going to make it better than the original film ? I seriously doubt that they can do this in the right way. I don´t mind remakes, or prequels, as long as they come from good material, but i hope that we will never see the day of a Twilight remake. That would make my testicles explode, for sure. We have seen proof that some remakes can be good, anyone remember the remake of Dawn Of The Dead from 2004 ? One of the better remakes in modern time, thanks to director Zack Snyder. Another great example is Insomnia, directed by Christopher Nolan, with Al Pacino doing a really wonderful performance. I personally find this remake to be better than the original norwegian film with Stellan Skarsgård. When you look at every years new film releases, you always find remakes or prequels on the list. I personally try and look for more original films first, because they usually turn out much better than remakes. Original ideas, and an original plot, is always welcome in my world when it comes to new movie releases. Have you heard of the actor Jason Statham ? Of course you have. If not, you might have been sitting at home watching too many episodes of The Days Of Our Lives. Statham have managed to make his career as an action star, showing his many great talents, both as an fighter, but also being able to act. I would not say he is a great actor, but he have proved that he can mix these combinations together, especially in The Expendables films. Starting his career in Guy Ritchie films Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, he changed his career completely in the 2002 film The Transporter. A fast intensive action film, with a lot of fighting, that became a small box office hit. Statham proved that he could use his body, and strength, in a very cool way. A sequel was no surprise, so in 2005, Statham was back to kick even more ass. This time it proved that The Transporter was more popular than ever, making it even bigger success at the box office. Since the films continued doing well, on dvd also, a third film was also made. With no suprises, the third film did even better at the box office than the previous ones. This could have been a clear sign for another sequel, instead Statham choosed not to return. So, with no Statham, the film studio decided to remake the franchise instead. When i heard about this earlier in 2015, i was not very happy about the idea. But my father in law Ove wanted to see it in the cinema, so i decided to go with him, just to give the film a chance. Is this remake even better than the previous films, or is this one of the worst ideas ever, since Nordman´s Greatest Hits Tour on Finlandsfärjan ?

Frank Martin ( Ed Skrein ), is a former special-operations mercenary, who works as an transporter of packages. Frank take a contract, where he is supposed to be the transporter for 3 women, robbing a bank. The leader of this goup is named Anna ( Loan Chabanol ). As the day arrives, all Frank have to do is pick up the girls, help them escape. But problems become very obvious, when Frank´s father Frank Martin Sr ( Ray Stevenson ) is kidnapped. His son Frank can have his father back, if he helps Anna and her collegues to kill human trafficker Arkady Karasov ( Radivoje Bukvic ). What started as a usual transport job, is now turning into a completely different situation.

I have to be honest here right away. A Transporter remake was a really bad idea from the beginning, and after watching this film, i still feel that this was a bad idea. Why remake something that was fun to watch, and not even keep the heavy fighting scenes that we all loved with Jason Statham ? I realise that they want to try and keep the franchise fresh, with a new lead actor and with the style of the previous films. But here is the biggest problem. Lead actor Ed Skrein is not a fighter on the same level as Jason Statham. And as he begins to fight, you really don´t feel the intensive action scenes, like Statham used to deliver. If they really needed to remake Transporter, they should have chosen someone who is tough as Statham, and have bigger balls than Caitlyn Jenner. You do get some of the elements from the earlier Transporter films, nice looking cars, hot women, and exotic locations. But the action scenes are not as well made as they should have been. Now, we do have something positive in this film, and that is actually actor Ray Stevenson. His perfomance is what keeps this film going, so well done sir. Director Camille Delamarre, who have worked as an editor on Taken 2 and Transporter 3, have directed action films before, like one of the last films with actor Paul Walker, known as Brick Mansions. You can tell she enjoy action films, unfortunately she seems to have missed the biggest important detail of the Transporter franchise. Transporter is supposed to have over the top fighting scenes, so extreme you will pee in your pants of joy. As an ordinary action film, i have seen a lot worse than this, and there are a few moments where we at least can smile, with the help of actor Ray Stevenson. His character is actually not that bad, and this film should have been about him instead, perhaps made as an Taken influenced action film. What is left here is a film, that tries to look as Transporter, but can´t climb to that level. If you just want dumb brain action, you might find some entertainment value here. I personally recommend the Transporter films instead with Statham, i can guarantee that you will have a much more fun time with them, than this remake.

Rating: DD

Bone Tomahawk

When i was a kid, i loved watching certain western films, especially the iconic western films from legendary director Sergio Leone. I don´t think any director can make western films, as good as he did. He knew exactly how a western film should look like, all the classic characters you could ask for. And let´s not forget the fantastic costumes, designed for each film. As the 70´s arrived, western films kept on coming, in all shapes and styles. But as the 80´s came along, this was the start of a time, where western films lost its audience. Kevin Costner did release Silverado, and Clint Eastwood did what he could with Pale Rider, but it was clear that times were changing. What used to be a genre, appreciated by all ages, was about to disappear. But in the year 1992, the whole world could not escape from the fact, that western was back again. Unforgiven, directed by Clint Eastwood, became a huge success, and won several awards. It seemed that this could be the key, to this classic genre, finally coming back on track. But the happiness did not last very long. Tombstone, a film based on the classic character Wyatt Earp, did pretty well at the box office, while Kevin Costner´s own version called Wyatt Earp, bombed at the box office. One of my personal favoruite western films from the 90´s, called The Quick And The Dead, did have a cool look, and nice cinematography, but also bombed at the box office. Western was once again no longer a priority for the audience. If we look at present day, it is pretty clear only a few directors dare to bring back western films, mostly smaller budget films, since some studios are afraid to loose money. Last year, we finally got what we have asked for a long time. The Salvation, an epic western film, directed by Kristian Levring. This film have a really good cast of Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Mikael Persbrandt, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Eric Cantona. Really good acting, beautiful scenery that fits really good to the story, and well made costumes. So when i read an article, that legendary actor Kurt Russel, would be in a new western film called Bone Tomahawk, i was feeling a positive vibe. Since i enjoyed his performance in Tombstone, 22 years ago ( time sure flies by ), it was nice to see him return in a different story, and to see him in this atmosphere again. I actually decided not to read any reviews on Bone Tomahawk, or read about the plot of the film, just to see what this would be. Since i have enjoyed many of Kurt Russel´s films in his career, including Death Proof, i was hoping that he would deliver once more. Is Bone Tomahawk the return to western films that we were hoping for, or is this a bad try to bring back a genre that does not show up very often ?

It is the early 1900´s. 2 men, Purvis ( David Arquette ) and Buddy ( Sid Haig ), are attacking and killing travellers. But it all ends, when something is attacking them, unexpected. It ends with Buddy being brutally murdered. Purvis manage to escape, and survive. Sheriff Franklin Hunt, is relaxing, cooking some soup, when elderly " Back Up Deputy " Chicory ( Richard Jenkins ) visits the sheriff, to tell him about a stranger in the towns bar. Chicory tell Sheriff Franklin that he saw the stranger covered in blood, while he threw his bloody clothers away. Sheriff Franklin decides to visit the stranger, to see what business he have here. At the bar, Purvis does not want to answer Franklin´s questions, and tries to run away. Franklin shoot Purvis in his leg, and ask for help to throw him in jail. Franklin asks John Brooder ( Matthew Fox ) to contact Arthur O´Dwyer ( Patrick Wilson ), to get the bullet out of the leg. Since Arthur is injured, and can barely walk, his wife Samantha O´Dwyer ( Lill Simmons ) go along with Brooder, to fix the bullet wound. Sheriff Franklin leaves Samantha with Purvis, so she can finish her medical treatment, together with another deputy. That night, stablehand Buford ( Jeremy Tardy ) is brutally murdered, with his stomach wide open. The next morning, Sheriff Franklin is informed about the murder, and head towards the stable where the body was found. There are no witnesses, but that´s not the only problem. Everyone at the station is missing, including Samantha and Purvis. An arrow is found in the sheriffs wall, and speculations begin to spin around that an indian tribe have kidnapped everyone. Sheriff Franklin gather a team, to go out in the prairie, to find the missing people. 

I will try and not give too many details away, but i have to say that i feel a bit split about this film. From the beginning we get to know, that something evil is out there, things become a bit interesting. You dont really see what is out there, and that is a good sign. It kind of feels like a mixture of horror and a western film, at least for a moment. Then the film switches over to a more dramatic film, with a lot of dialogue, as they ride across the prairie, to locate the missing people, who apparently have been kidnapped. While the film becomes more dramatic, this is where the problems become more clear. Some scenes are way too long, as we get to see their journey, talking about different issues. The acting is great, so i can´t complain about the acting, it is just so many dialogue scenes, that keeps on going too long. I really enjoy the acting from both Kurt Russel and Patrick Wilson, and in the beginning of the film, legendary actor Sid Haig. He is only on scren for a few minutes , but i wish he would have been in more scenes. Nice to see actor Sean Young show up, most people might remember her from the 80´s thriller No Way Out, with Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman. Bone Tomahawk looks like a traditional western for the most part, until we meet the savages, or should we call them cannibals. This is where the film finally becomes more fun, with brutal scenes, and more physical acting. Kurt Russel in the lead role, is one of the reasons why i enjoy watching this film. He is one of the actors i have grown up with, and seen him in so many films over the years. One of his greatest performances is of course John Carpenter´s classic cult film Escape From New York. Who can forget him and Sylvester Stallone in the classic action 80´s film Tango & Cash ? One of the films that always reminds me of Kurt Russel, is without a doubt the sci fi action adventure Stargate. A film that still today works pretty well, because of the cool design of egyptian warriors. Bone Tomahawk is a pretty odd mixture of cannibal horror, and a western drama. I like the concept by director S. Craig Zahler, too bad he had to make some of the dialogue scenes so long. But when the raw tone of cannibalism comes into the picture, i personally feel that this is one of the reasons what makes this western a good choice. Not often we see this combination put together, and for that i have to say director S. Craig Zahler makes a good effort. The story itself is not very important, instead we focus on the brutality of the savages. Bone Tomahawk is way too long, and that is such a shame. Because this is still a good western film, with a different approach than most films in this genre. Don´t expect a lot of shooting though, there is more dialogue here than in any episode of Housewives Of New Jersey. Nice to see that western films are still around in 2015, even if this have not been in cinemas worldwide. Kurt Russel will actually be in the new western film by Quentin Tarantino called The Hatefull Eight, so we do have something to look forward to. Until then, give Bone Tomahawk a chance, especially if you love classic elements in this genre.

Rating: DDD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

tisdag 10 november 2015

No Escape

In december last year, me and my wife went on a honeymoon to Thailand. I have to say we made the perfect choice. So many beautiful locations, wonderful beaches, amazing food and so friendly people. I did hurt myself just a few days before we were going back home to Sweden, when i hit a big sharp rock in the ocean with my left foot, and got a big flesh wound. But i was alright, just had to sew a few stitches, bandage over my foot, and i was ready to go. By the way, the medical treatment in Thailand was very cheap, and the pills for pain worked very well. I was really dizzy when i took them, but felt great, why don´t we have pain pills like that in Sweden ? If i ever need medical care help, i would gladly go back for help in Thailand. I did laugh also at certain details, lady boys are everywhere, and especially older men seems to love them. I suppose that they like the idea of having tits and a penis at the same time, and maybe that is a great combination ? Speaking of Thailand, remember seeing the riots in Bangkok ? Is it right or wrong ? I can understand why the people of Thailand would start riots, when they feel that their country is falling apart. I remember reading about this in may, last year, when the people who were in the riots, demanded the senate to replace the cabinet with an appointed administration. When i visited certain areas of Thailand, especially in smaller villages, you could clearly see how poor many people are. They might own a house, but in such a bad condition, it looks like it could fall apart if a bad weather would show up. I also remember smaller fishing houses, where families were trying to sell dried fish, or fish products, in a store that smelled like a sewer. I personally think it is good to go outside the tourist areas and see the real world, things may not be as perfect as you may think. I have seen a lot of poverty, in many places in this world while travelling, but i have to say that the thai people i met were so nice. Even if they did not have much money, or lived in houses with a lot of problems, they were so kind to care for us. So i suggest you never judge anyone if they are poor, they are usually better people than rich people. Let´s think for a moment, imagine if you were right in the riots in Southeast Asia, and were selected as a target ? This is one of the things that the film No Escape brings up, an action thriller with Owen Wilson ( finally doing something different from his usual category ). We even have Pierce Brosnan here, in a smaller role, who both try and survive a very serious situation. Last time i saw Owen Wilson do something different, from his usual comedy releases, was last years film Inherent Vice. A very odd film, but worth watching. No Escape looks good in the trailer, but is this really as good as it seems, or is the trailer only showing the best parts and leave us with nothing else ?

American engineer Jack Dwyer ( Owen Wilson ), is about to arrive to Southeast Asia, with his wife Annie ( Lake Bell ), and their 2 daughters, Lucy ( Sterling Jerins ) and Beeze ( Claire Geare ). Jack is here to begin a new career with an American engineering firm. At the airport, they meet Hammond ( Pierce Brosnan ), who give the family advices on how things work in this country. Jack is excited to have his family in a far away country, starting a new life. One day, Jack goes out on his own on the city streets to find a newspaper stand. He gets lost, but finally find what he was looking for. Suddenly a big riot begins on the same street that Jack is walking on. All hell breaks loose, and people are getting killed. Jack manage to locate the hotel where his family is, but need to get everyone into safety. Not knowing what is going on, or what these riots are all about, Jack have to find a way out, before more victims will be assassinated.

While watching No Escape, i get the feeling that the image of the Southeast Asian people might be portrayed wrong. I doubt that most asian people would be this cruel, as this film try to show us. Of course this is just a film, so you have to look outside the box and focus on what the film is trying to bring to the audience. As an action thriller, No Escape manage to deliver entertainment, if you just want a popcorn moment with friends. Great to see Owen Wilson back into the action genre, he have actually not been in this genre since the year 2001, with Behind Enemy Lines. I would say that i actually prefer him in a film like this, because we have seen him in so many comedies, it can get a bit too much of his usual performances. Pierce Brosnan is of course a legendary actor, who have been in many action films, so there is no doubt he fits in here. He does not have a lot of screen time, unfortunately, but in the scenes he shows up, he gives his piece of the cake. If you have been to Thailand, or perhaps to Bangkok, you will recognize the scenery. Especially in a scene when Owen Wilson goes out to buy a newspaper, as he gets lost and find small streets with food supplies, cooking meat stands, and small stores. As the riots begin, and all chaos breaks out, this is where the film really takes off. Director John Erick Dowdle, is mostly known for being the director of the REC remake called Quarantine. But he also directed the good horror film Devil, based on a story of M. Night Shyamalan. No Escape does have a little bit of horror influences here, but since this is more of an action thriller, you could say director John Erick Dowdle tries another path. He manage to capture the feeling of chaos, that is supposed to be represented in riots. To see the thai people kill tourists, is of course a disturbing detail, but who knows, in these days anything seems possible. The story itself may not be very interesting, since it is a pretty basic story. A family tries to survive, and that´s pretty much it. But it is the intensive action scenes that makes this film work. Could this film have been better with a more complicated story ? Maybe, but at the same time, sometimes it is nice just to enjoy an action film for what it is. No Escape does not bring anything fresh, or different than other films in this genre, but it does work from an entertainment perspective. I will go back to Thailand again, and if i ever happen to end up in riots, i will wear my Mustache Ride Tom Selleck t shirt. Why ? Because thai people love Tom Selleck mustache, ask anyone from Thailand and they will confirm that.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 4 november 2015

Turbo Kid

Since i grew up as a kid in the 80´s, i have a lot of passion for movies released during these years. Some might say that the 80´s had a lot of bad releases, and that is true when it comes to some films. But i have to say, this period of time had some really good classics, just think about Back To The Future, The Terminator, Lethal Weapon, The Hitcher, Conan The Barbarian and many more films. One of my personal favourite films of the 80´s, is without a doubt The Toxic Avenger. The story of mopping boy Melvin, who turns into a mutated superhero, called The Toxic Avenger. This is a really funny story, with a lot of action, silly outfits, and dialogue so fantastic you never want the film to end. One of the great things about the 80´s films, was that they mixed in all kinds of things into action adventure films, anyone remember BMX Bandits or The Goonies ? Ghostbusters is of course one of those classic action films, that still works today. Today in the movie industry, most films that are mostly remakes, or prequels, unless we find directors who try and go a different path. I really love those directors who try to keep the old school films alive, who love the 80´s and 90´s style of action films. Because we all know how great some films were from this period, i hope you all have seen Kung Fury by now ? A short film made thanks to fans worldwide through Kickstarter, that became a massive hit worldwide. The story of a cop, who travels back in time to stop Kung Fuhrer, also known as Hitler, and his army, with the help of his viking friends riding dinosaurs, is a masterpiece. Just by reading this, you must understand that this is the greatest swedish film ever made. You can watch it online, both on Youtube, but also on other web sites. Since Kung Fury became such a huge hit, i was not surprised to see that more directors are interested in bringing back the 80´s to the big screen. Not that long ago, i came across the news of a new film, called Turbo Kid, that seemed to be a tribute to the 80´s films, and still have some different combinations included. The trailer looked amazing, where i also noticed that legendary actor Michael Ironside is in the film. You have to know who this man is, right ? Remember V - The tv series, Total Recall, and not that long ago in Terminator Salvation ? Great to see him back on screen, this iconic actor is a big part of my childhood, so it feels very good that he agreed to be onto this project. With a cool look, and with a soundtrack that sounds fantastic, is Turbo Kid one of this years best films, or did the trailer promise too much positivity ?

In the year of 1997, the world have turned into an apocalyptic nightmare. The Kid ( Munro Chambers ) rides around on his BMX bike, collecting artifacts he can find and sell to merchant Bagu ( Romano Orzari ). On his latest visit to Bagu´s store, Bagu have a special surprise for The Kid. He have a comic book of Turbo Rider. The Kid is really happy, and begin reading the comic book right away. As he sits down on a swing set, he meets Apple ( Laurence Leboeuf ). She is a very happy, and curious person. They begin to spend time together, as The Kid finds out that Apple is actually a robot. This does not bother him though, since he enjoys spending time with her. When Apple is kidnapped by the evil Zeus ( Michael Ironside ), and his evil followers, The Kid knows he have to get her back. While being chased by Zeus evil soldier Skeletron ( Edwin Wright ), he falls down underground and find a dead man, who looks like he could have been the real Turbo Rider. The Kid takes his clothes, and prepare himself to take Apple back. He locate Zeus hideout, but will only have Apple free if he fight against some chosen warriors of Zeus. Another prisoner, Frederic ( Aaron Jeffery ) is also forced to fight. The battle begins, and The Kid and Apple escape, surviving against Zeus soldiers. Zeus order Skeletron and his helpers to track them down and kill them. But The Kid have other plans, with the help of Apple. He is now known as Turbo Kid, and will make sure that Zeus will end his tyranny.

I feel like raising my arms into the sky and scream right out:- Yyyyeeeeaaaahhhhhhh

Why ? Because Turbo Kid is such a fun and great looking film, this is one of the best surprises of this year. There are so many things to be happy about when it comes to Turbo Kid. The visual style, the atmosphere, the post apocalyptic scenery, the costume designes, and most of all the really gory action scenes. You could say that this film is a mix of Cyborg with Jean-Claude Van Damme and BMX Bandits, with some influences from other classic films of the 80´s. It feels like being a kid all over again, riding my BMX bike, with a He-Man sword and my Rambo knife. This is one of the things i feel that Turbo Kid manage to do so well, bring back nostalgic feelings. This film includes some really cool synthesizer tunes, as the action kicks off with lots of blood and body parts. But hold on, there are more positive details worth mentioning. The acting from lead actors Munro Chambers and Laurence Leboeuf fit perfect together on screen, they really make their characters in the best possible way. Michael Ironside as the evil Zeus is also really good, and he knows how to act evil. This is actually his biggest strength from an acting perspective, that he can do evil characters, combining his unique look with a powerful performance. Turbo Kid is actually directed by 3 different directors, Francios Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann- Karl Whissell. They have all worked together on short films in the past, and this is their first feature film, directing all 3 of them. This is something unique actually, i can´t say i have heard of 3 directors working on one feature film. But the fisished project proves that this was a good effort. I love the fact that the film takes place in 1997, but looks like the early 80´s, and it looks nothing like 1997, a brilliant idea. Turbo Kid is a film that should be seen on screens worldwide, in every cinema possible, so a wider audience could enjoy this tribute to the classics we grew up with. Now, the film have not reached out as wide as i was hoping, but it is out now on dvd and blu ray in the UK, and will be released in Sweden in the end of november on dvd, so my suggestion is that you buy the film, and support this amazing experience. Times are changes, people move on to a new future, but sometimes it is nice to keep the 80´s alive, just for a good time. Turbo Kid should be on the list this year as one of the better releases. Its fun, looks really good and will make you jump like Tom Cruise did on the Oprah Winfrey show in her sofa. I can guarantee you that you will love this film, especially if you are a 46 year old virgin from Bergen, Norway, who get turned on by rubbing yourself against a bicycle.

I feel like dressing up like Turbo Kid right now, activate my laser arm gun, and track down the mormon planet Kolob with my BMX bike, you never know what comes out of their caves. 

Rating: DDDD

söndag 1 november 2015

30 years celebration of Red Sonja

30 years ago,  Birgitte Nielsen became Red Sonja in a film,  based on the Marvel Comics character, with Arnold Schwarzenegger by her side.  At the time of the release,  the film became a box office bomb and critics hated the film. Since its 30 years ago the film came out in 1985,  i thought i should do a review of this hated film.  I will be taking a look at the film on the blu ray release and post a review later on this month.  Its fun to make something different and nostalgic sometimes. Besides, i heard rumours that a Red Sonja remake might be coming our way,  so the timing is perfect. A couple of other reviews will be posted first,  but of course we should celebrate 30 years since the release of Red Sonja.  

Thank you all readers worldwide for reading my reviews and updates.  Love you all and remember,  i am the best movie review critic of Sweden. 😉 

Chrers from Daniel 

Black Mass

Some actors always choose the right cards, just to make sure that the audience will come back. Look at comedian legend Steve Martin, who have done so many comedies since the end of the 70´s, that he knows that this is his genre, and will always come back to make another film. He did try to do something different, with the film Novocaine, a black comedy thriller, where he got a chance to do a very different character from his previous film. The film flopped at the box office, and we can not be sure why this happened. Maybe the audience did not want to see him do something different, but i personally enjoyed the film, even though it is not the best performance from Steve Martin. Speaking of different characters, there are actors who try to do all kinds of genres and characters, and one of the most iconic actors out there who have done a lot of fantastic performances is of course Johnny Depp. I still remember him from the first A Nightmare On Elm Street, until he got his big breakthrough in Cry Baby, and became even bigger with Tim Burton´s cult film Edward Scissorhands. This was just the start for Johnny´s fantastic film career, and over many years he have given us a lot of wonderful performances. One of the film that may not been a box office hit, but was a very good thriller, is the film called Nick Of Time. A really intensive thriller with an interesting plot, where an innocent man is chosen to kill a politician, if he wants his kidnapped daughter to live. Christopher Walken, as the man behind this criminal act, is absolutely splendid in this film. So if you have not seen Nick Of Time, see if you can buy the dvd online, it is not easy to find in these days. Most people know Johnny Depp from his Captain Sparrow character in the Pirates Of The Carribean films, and its not hard to figure out why. Johnny Depp have always had a way of making characters in his own unique way, and i have a feeling he will continue to do so for many years ahead. Who can forget his crazy performance in the classic film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas ? In recent years, we have seen Johnny try and deliver more different genre films, but for some reason he did not seem to find something very interesting to bite his teeth into. Until i saw the pictures, from his upcoming film called Black Mass, based on the true stories of mobster Whitey Bugler. I could not recognize Johnny Depp from his new look, he actually shocked me that he did such an amazing transformation. So when i saw that the premiere was coming closer to Sweden, i just had to go and see Black Mass, hoping that this would be the best performance in a very long time. Is Johnny Depp back on track with another iconic performance by this legendary actor, or did the surface look better than what the actual content gave us ?

In the year of 1975, Whitey Bugler ( Johnny Depp ), leader of the Irish- American Winter Hill Gang, controls almost all of the organized crime in South Boston, together with his right-hand-man Stephen Flemmi ( Rory Cochrane ), newcomer Kevin Weeks ( Jesse Plemons ) and his cold hearted hitman Johnny Martorano ( W. Earl Brown ). Whitey and his men only have one big enemy known in the northern part of Boston, known as Angiulo Brothers. FBI agent John Connoly ( Joel Edgerton ) is an old friend of Whitey´s brother William " Billy " Bulger, who is now the Massachusetts Senate President. John tells William that Whitey is in danger, since there is information that the Angiulo Brothers are planning to kill Whitey. He asks William to help him convince his brother to agree on helping the FBI, to make sure Whitey is protected. John eventually bring the news to Whitey himself, but Whitey does not like the idea of helping the FBI. Until he realise that his wife, Lindsey ( Dakota Johnson ) and his son Douglas ( Luke Ryan ) could be in danger. Whitey finally agree to help the FBI, after one of his gang members is found brutally murdered. Can Whitey get out of this mess, even if he is trying to make things right, or is time running out ?

Everyone, i suggest you all sit down and listen.

Forget all the films in many years that Johnny Depp gave us, Black Mass proves that Johnny is back, and holy shit......this is the best performance i have seen him do since.....Donnie Brasco. That is almost 20 years ago, and i can´t belive the joy i am feeling right now, remembering the performance that i watched in the theatre. This is the kind of performance that should be Oscar nominated, and i am hoping that he will be, because it was a long time ago he gave a performance on a level like this. Now, let´s talk about Black Mass in general. The story about mobster Whitey Bugler is both very interesting, and you do get to find out what kind of a person he was. It is not hard to understand why he was so feared by people, since everyone knew that he is not a man you want to upset. How he managed to become the biggest leader of almost all organized crime within South Boston. You also see how he tried to be a father, using his own methods to make sure his son Douglas knows what life is all about. Another really amazing performance in this film, is made by british actor Benedict Cumberbatch as the Massachusetts State Senate President William " Billy " Bulger. I would say that Benedict Cumberbatch is actually one of my favourite actors of all time, since he is simply amazing in many films, and as Sherlock Holmes of course. His character feels both realistic and interesting, as he is in a very vulnerable situation, being the brother to Whitley Bugler, as he tries to stay clean as the Massachusetts State President. I would also like to say that Kevin Bacon is also really good as FBI boss Charles McGuire. When we get to hear about FBI, trying to get Whitey to cooperate with them, as information is out that Angiulo Brothers wants Whitey dead, things become really interesting in the film. There are some brutal scenes here, but that is something inportant in this story, to make it feel like a portrait of Whitey Bugler. Director Scott Cooper, directed the amazingly good drama film Crazy Heart, with the excellent actor Jeff Bridges, doing one of his best performances on screen. Black Mass is a completely different film, but director Scott Cooper proves once again, why he is such an amazing story teller, and knows how to get actors to perform on top level. His vision of how South Boston looked like, when Whitey Bugler was the king of town, looks really good. The costume design, the dialogue is really well written, and you can feel the atmosphere surrounding the moment of time. Black Mass is definetely the best film Johnny Depp have made in many years, and i really hope that he gets nominated for his performance. He is the biggest reason why this film is as good as it is. Run down to your local theatre, buy tickets to Black Mass, and witness how really good acting should look like. 

Rating: DDDD


When i grew up as a kid, i was lucky to have friends that got their hands on VHS copies of uncut american action films. Everything from Chuck Norris classics, to Jean-Claude Van Damme films, including Jackie Chan of course. The VHS period was a fun nostalgic time, with so many B movies released. I remember when you found VHS shops, with so many great titles, with everything from ninjas, to mutated monsters, and of course the action films, mixed with nudity. Unfortunately some idiots decided that films should be cut down from violence, so many of the films released on VHS here in Sweden, was cut down with everything from 5 to 10 minutes. This was horrible, because you did not get to see anything of the action scenes, when the violence was supposed to be showing on screen. So, there was only one way to do. Try and get the uncut films from other countries, especially copies straight from England, or USA. But one channel called Filmnet, back in the early 90´s, decided to show all their action films, and horror films uncut, so we had to get that channel. My dad got a hold of a digital box, so i was guaranteed to see these films without the stupid censorship. Of course there was also adult films included, so at midnight you could " Stroke The Salami " and fire a shot at the carpet on the floor. Those were the good old days i tell you. Thankfully today we don´t censor films, everything is released uncut ( eventually ), depending on where you live in this world. So we get to see all the wonderful, brutal violence, that we want in action films, and especially martial art films. Speaking of martial arts, have anyone of you seen a film called The Raid ? Let me tell you, this film is so beautiful and wonderful, i can never stop watching it. With so much extreme violence, with enormous power, The Raid hits you harder than anything in your face, and will make you praised more than any holy book out there. Directed by Gareth Evans, on a budget less than 2 million dollars, he proved that you can make amazing action, with the right tools. The Raid might be the best martial arts film ever made, if you ask me. It is so well made, with amazing choreography , that you will sit there speechless, and just cheer with joy. Before The Raid came out, director Gareth Evans directed 2 films, where he got the most positive feedback from a film called Merantau. Since a man in Sweden called Victor Lindskog requested a review on this film, a long time ago, i promised him to write a review and see if i would enjoy it as much as he did. Since i really love The Raid films, is Merantau a worthy film that manage to deliver quality, or is this a film that feels like another straight to dvd release, soon to be forgotten ?

Yuda ( Iko Uwais ), a young Minangkabau who is an expert at silat, decide to follow the merantau tradition. This means he needs to leave his home, go out on a journey, to find his own path in life. Yuda have a plan, that he can teach children to learn silat. While going on his journey by bus, Yuda meets Eric ( Yayan Ruhian ), who also loves silat. When Yuda tell Eric about his plans in Jakarta, Eric warns him to be careful. Jakarta is a dangerous city, so Eric want Yuda to make sure to stay safe. As Yuda continue his journey, he have an adress written down, where he was planning to stay. It turns out that the house does not exist anymore, so Yuda have to sleep inside a construction building area. Next day, while Yuda is having some food, his wallet is stolen by a child named Adit ( Yusuf Aulia ). Yuda chase after his wallet, and locate Adit. As he approach, he suddenly see Adit´s sister Astri ( Sisca Jessica ) being abused by a pimp named Johni ( Alex Abbad ). Yuda stop Johni from abusing Astri, but Astri is upset because this will only cause her more trouble. Johni tells Astri that she will never get any more work from him, so she is now without any money. The next day, Yuda see Astri being beaten down again. He tries to help her again, but this time there are many of Johni´s men, and they beat down Yuda. Not for long though, Yuda gets up, follow Johni into the whore house and kick everyone´s ass, including Johni´s boss Ratger ( Mads Koudal ). When Yuda is done, and crashed the whole place, Rather is furious, and want Johni to locate Astri and her brother Adit. Yuda takes Astri and her little brother to the construction site, to keep them safe. Eventually Astri is kidnapped by Ratger´s men. Yuda promise Adit he will bring back his sister alive.

I might be the only one to say this, but i get the feeling that there is a Romeo & Juliet vibe in the film Merantau. This does not mean that this is a love story completely, because there are many things going on in this film. You have the traditional story of a poor boy, who wants to help people in need, you have gangsters, and you have prostitutes who are being used. But it is lead actor Iko Uwais who give this film the strength it needs, to keep us interested. His fighting choreography is amazing, and you would not want to meet him in an alley on a saturday night. When he gets the chance to shine, with his special kicks, and fist movements, the little child in you starts to applaude and jump in the sofa. Since the story is very traditional, and have been seen before, it is not hard to figure out where this is going. But director Gareth Evans manage to throw in some important details, to make the character of Iko Uwais more interesting, than just a martial arts fighter. You get to see his more emotional sides, as he tries to deal with different life situations, and care for a poor girl he helped from being abused. I would say that Merantau is a more of dramatic action film than The Raid, with more to say on an emotional level. You know sometimes when you are let down, because a film have a terrible villain, like in Jupiter Ascending ? Well, the good news is that danish actor Mads Koudal gives a great performance as the evil pimp, and gangster Ratger. So far so good. Do we have any problems ? As i said earlier, this is a very traditional story, and that does not have to be a problem, i suppose i would have liked to see some more surprises, instead of seeing the typical love story. The strength of Merantau is the action sequences, while the story feels a bit too light. Since this was the first film that director Gareth Evans and actor Iko Uwais worked together on, ( before they brought the action masterpiece The Raid to this world ), Merantau shows that they both knew how to make effective action films. It is a good mix of martial arts, and with a more dramatic side to the story that fits in the storyline. The Raid is of course a much better film, but i still suggest you see Merantau for the really well made fighting scenes. I better start practising some special kicks, you never know when Jehovas Witnesses are ringing my door bell again, if they do, they will taste my " Fist Of A Swedish Viking ".

Rating: DDD