måndag 31 oktober 2016

The Neon Demon

Film makers who dare to tell different stories, and try different genres, have always made me interested to see their work. There are plenty of directors out there who have proved themselves to dare cross borders, using odd styles, and a different way to tell a story. One film that comes to my mind straight away, is the australian film Memento. A unique psychological thriller, directed by Christoper Nolan. When this film was released, back in the year 2000, it was one of the most beloved films that year. The way director Christoper Nolan made this film, starting to tell the story backwards, instead of the usual way of telling a story, felt  and interesting. Another great example is a film called Oldboy, a brilliant thriller drama from South Korea, by director Chan-wook Park. What might seem to be an ordinary kidnapping film, soon turn into something completely different. What made Oldboy so amazing, a part from a strong cast and a solid story, was the uniqe style that the film managed to bring to the cinema screen. The lead actor Min-sik Choi did one of his best performances in his career, as the revenge filled Dae-su Oh. If you have not seen Oldboy yet ( not the american remake ), you have to buy it on dvd or blu ray. This is one of those films that needs to be in every homes film collections. Odd films, that dare to tell original stories, is something i feel very passionate about. That´s why i always try and check out titles that seems to be different, compared to the usual Hollywood productions. Most directors that have made classics, started out doing smaller films, before they could get their chance to work in bigger projects. Just take a look at danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. His directorial debut film Pusher, released in 1996, was a knockout like nothing we have seen before. A danish hard hitting drama about criminals, with a very raw view of the danish crime gang situation. I remember that people all over Scandinavia loved this film, because it may not have been original, but very emotional. He directed all 3 films of The Pusher trilogy, and for each film you felt that he was ready to move on with other projects. After making his name heard, at film festivals and from critics, he moved on to make bigger films in Hollywood. This turned out to be a smart move, because he proved himself. When i read earlier this year, that Nicolas was going to release a film, like nothing he have ever done before, i got really excited. Would we finally have a original film, that please us who enjoy solid acting and a solid story ? With a well respected director, and a cast filled with professional actors, is The Neon Demon a film that should be seen, or should you skip it as much as possible ?

16 year old aspiring model Jesse ( Elle Fanning ) have moved from a small town in Georgia, to Los Angeles, to become a professional model. Her first photo shoot is done by Dean ( Karl Glusman ). Jesse meet make up artist Ruby ( Jena Alone ), who introduce her to fellow older models Sarah ( Abbey Lee ) and Gigi ( Bella Heathcote ). She can tell that these models have a problem with a young face, but she tries to stay strong. One day, Jesse finally get signed by a major model agency, runned by Roberta Hoffman ( Christina Hendricks ). She tells Jesse to pretend that she is 19, just to guarantee that they don´t run into legal issues. Everything seems to be going well, but Jesse is about to enter a world, where fashion is just a glimpse of the real truth.

If you don´t like odd films, that uses different combinations of styles and genres, then i suggest you stop reading right here. The Neon Demon is a mix of styles, made with brightful colors and a different image than most films. I can´t say i have seen something similar to The Neon Demon, because this is a very special film. Imagine if Vincent Gallo decided to make a film about models, and mixed in David Lynch influenses, with odd characters, and a bizarre plot ? Well, this is pretty much what The Neon Demon is, a film that can´t really be explained that much, you just have to see it yourself to see what i mean. There are many films that brings up the subject around the fashion world, but i don´t think we have ever seen it be done this way before. I could be wrong, i just can´t think of anything similar. So is this any good at all ? I will say that i like the cinematography by Natasha Braier. The colors and the settings match great together, with the model . I also like some of the disturbing ideas brought in here, unexpected turns. Director Nicolas Winding Refn started his movie career in Denmark, with the Pusher films. Then he was really praised by his film Drive, with Ryan Gosling in 2011. And there is a good reason for that, Drive was one of the better films of 2011. Nicolas tried making a very different film with Only God Forgives, working together with Ryan Gosling again. The film was not what we expected. The Neon Demon shows that Nicolas tries to make another film, that tries to go a completely different path than his previous films. I like the fact that he dares to move out of a comfort zone, and do what he feels like. This is not a guarantee though that he have managed to make a solid film all the way. The biggest problems for me with The Neon Demon, is mainly that the acting is not very good. Just a few characters feel interesting, while others just show up, but without any purpose really. So it all lands on the main character, Jesse, played by Elle Fanning. She is one of the reasons why i am interested in this film. Her character is mysterious, innocent, and for some reason you feel sorry for her, because she seems lost in the fashion world. She may not do one of her better performances in her career, but she is the reason why you watch this film. Keanu Reeves is not very good, unfortunately. The Neon Demon is a film that wont be appreciated by people who hate art films, but perhaps if you are a fan by David Lynch. With a fascinating idea, sewed together into a landscape of insanity, The Neon Demon is a film you should see just to dare try something different. I think i might paint right now, something in neon lights, or with demons included, we will have to see if Ulf Brunnberg approve this.

Rating: DDD

Free State Of Jones

There are some actors who are stuck in bad films, and keep on doing them for a long period. We could mention many actors that have been in this situation, but let´s focus on one particular actor. Matthew McConaughey, the man most of you know from The Lincoln Lawyer, Dallas Buyers Club or Interstellar. But after he did a really good performance in Frailty, back in 2001, his road became unfocused. With films such as How To Lose A Guy In 10 Dates, Failure To Launch and Fool´s Gold, his film choices seemed to be only about making money. He did do ok at least in Two For The Money with Al Pacino, but between this film it did look dark. Everything really turned around when he proved himself again, taking on the lead role of The Lincoln Lawyer. A different film from Matthew´s usual choices, and it turned out to be a great choice. He continued taking on much more stronger material, where i think Dallas Buyers Club might be one of his strongest performances in his career. Based on the true story about Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed with HIV in he 80´s, was on of the best films that came out in 2013. Jared Leto also did a fantastic performance as the drug addicted trans woman Rayon, also HIV-positive. A film you all should own on dvd or blu ray, a modern classic if you ask me. Matthew continued working on more really great films, and it seemed as he really wanted to focus on much more serious projects. We almost forgot to mention the very good drama called Mud, a very powerful film with really good acting. Also one of the best performances i have ever seen Reese Witherspoon do. After Matthew McConaughey worked with Christopher Nolan on the film Interstellar, he decided to do a completely different film called The Sea Of Trees. This film is directed by legendary director Gus Van Sant, and you might think that this combination would be fantastic. The truth is that most critics hated the film, and it was also an enormous box office bomb. I have not seen this film yet, but i probably will. In early 2016, i was hearing that Matthew was releasing a new film called Free States Of Jones. Since i enjoy watching films, based on true historical events, i kept my eye for a release date. I was supposed to see this film in cinemas, but it did not show many weeks in Sweden, so got the chance to watch the blu ray instead. Is McConaughey back on his oustanding acting level, or was this a bad choice ?

Newton Knight ( Matthew McConaughey ), is a poor farmer from Jones County, who managed to survive the Battle Of Corinth, in 1862. Serving as a battlefield medic in the Confederate Army. He finally get to go back home to his farm, and his wife Serena Knight ( Keri Russel ), after deserting from the Confederate Army. Newton become a friend to a slave woman, named Rachel ( Gugu Mbatha-Raw ). He makes sure she is safe, even though she is being treated bad by certain white men. But the situation between Newton and Confederacy grows more serious, after he finds out that they have seized crops and livestocks. Newton decide to strike back, through helping a family protecting their farm. But he is badly injured, from a dogs bite. He gets medical help, thanks to Moses Washington ( Mahershala Ali ). Newton gather some slaves, and other men into the swamp, after the Siege Of Vicksburg increase problems. This gathering of deserters and runaways, is now made into a armed rebellion against the Confederacy. This group of men are named " Free State Of Jones ", after they successfully manage to capture a large slice of south-east Mississippi. Newton want the people to take back their freedom, no matter what the prize is.

There are some things you want to see, when you watch a film based on true historical events. You want to see strong characters, a well made story that capture the historical time period, and the costumes. If we take a look at Free States Of Jones, we find some of of the points i mentioned earlier. We have some great characters, and the time period if caught pretty good. You can tell that the film tries to tell different sides, from the poor slave people, the Confederate Army, and the life of Newton Knight. I like the fact that the film tries to include a lot of people, known for being in the Civil War. Even if we don´t get to know a lot about Newton Knight, you can tell that he seemed to be a man who wanted to make things right. That you always do what is right, and protect the poor. Matthew McConaughey make a great performance as Newton Knight, and he was just the right choice to make this historical legend. I also feel that Gugu Mbatha-Raw, as Rachel, also gives this film a strong portrait. Another actor i have to mention is of course Thomas Francis Murphy, as Elias Hood. He really fits in character, and the whiskey scene is a perfect example of his acting abilities. The story around Newton Knight is moved within different events of his life, and we do get to know some about his personal issues. The only problem i have with this film, is the length. Almost 2 hours and 30 minutes. The biggest issue is that the film moves very slow in some scenes, and in a film this long, you need to keep it interesting basically all along. Director Gary Ross is pehaps mostly known for directing the first The Hunger Games film. He also directed Seabiscuit with a young Tobey Maguire in the lead role. I think he have managed to make a interesting historical film with Free States Of Jones, and mainly because of the great cast. What director Gary Ross should have done, is made more scenes feel much more deep. It feels a bit simple just to let the dialogue do most of the work. But once Matthew McConaughey becomes more angry, and emotional, we get some of the more dark tones, that the Civil Was was filled with. Free State Of Jones is a well made film, no doubt about that, and i really enjoy some of the performances. Too bad we did not get more out of such a long film, but i still think you should see this film. Because historical films, based on true events are important to see. One thing is clear though, that whiskey back in those days would be interesting to taste. 

Rating: DDD

söndag 23 oktober 2016

Blair Witch

In the end of the 90´s, i had quit school and was ready to try a new life. I had a lot of plans, and i actually managed to get some of them work out. Especially getting out of my hometown Uddevalla. I was offered jobs in different cities, so when i was offered a job at a meat factory called Dafgårds, i jumped on board. At that time i was a deep VHS nerd, and was watching a lot of films on VHS players. Since i was working a lot, i spent most of my money on buying VHS films. I would go to Gothenburgh especially to the video store Movieline and buy some really nice titles. I remember that the guy at the register was talking about a new horror film called The Blair Witch Project. It was supposed to be based on a true story, and he said that there is a website you could visit to read about the story behind the film. Of course i had to check this out. At that time i did not have internet at home, so i went to the public library to surf online. I checked the web page out, and i did think it looked interesting. Not sure if this really was based on a true story, but i remembered the title, so just had to wait for the release. When i finally got a chance to see The Blair Witch Project in a cinema in 1999, i did not really understand the hype. Sure, considering the budget, the film makers have tried to do something original, so i did see something positive about the film. But i was not freaked out, and i did not really felt scared watching the film. The film still became a massive success worldwide, and horror fans loved the small film. Even at work you could hear people talking about how scary it was. Maybe i just did not connect with the film, i suppose that i was more drawn to grindhouse horror instead. Of course a sequel was released a year later, called Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. The biggest difference between the original film, and this sequel, was that the 2nd film was more of a ordinary horror film. And it was not good either, for many reasons. A typical example when film studios release a sequel just to make money. After the release of the sequel, everything around The Blair Witch Project basically died out. You heard nothing about if they were planning to make a new one. And it seemed pretty dead, until director Adam Wingard decided it was time to make a sequel. But there was a catch. The film studio did not go out and call this film Blair Witch at first, the fake title was actually The Woods. Why ? This was supposed to be a secret, and a surprise for the fans of the original film. As the secret was revealed, a lot of people were surprised that a sequel was coming out. I got a chance to go to a cinema and see this latest sequel, just to give it a try. Is this better than the original film, or is it just a typical cash in project, that don´t care about quality ?

Over 20 years ago, James Donahue ( James Allen McCune ) found out his sister Heather is missing, while she was looking for evidence of the Blair Witch. Now, in present day, James decide to gather a group of friends to go back to the same location, to see if he can find clues if his sister might still be alive. James and the gang go to meet locals Lane ( Wes Robinson ) and Talia ( Valorie Curry ). They were the ones who found a video, where they see a woman hiding in a house. James believe that this could be his sister, so he brings Lane and Talia with the team, to make sure that they find the right location. Wearing different video cameras and other electronic equipment, they head towards the forest where Heather was last seen. Is the story of the Blair Witch project true, or is it just a myth ?

When you make a sequel, from a film that has become a horror classic in the found footage horror genre, you have to find the feeling from the first film. Maybe not copy the content, but somehow connect this sequel, so it feels like a real sequel. And this is where i found myself finding some problems. This is supposed to be a sequel, where a gang of young people go back to the same location. But the location does not feel very interesting, you really don´t feel like we are back to where the first film took place. Also, some of the characters does not feel very interesting. It is almost as if they have been placed here, just to make it look like something similar from the 1999 film. For those of you who have seen the first film, if you loved that film, you might find some fun in here. Personally, i never found myself enjoying The Blair Witch Project as much as i thought i would. Perhaps because i did not find the film to be that scary. This sequel tries to use other ways to scare us, combining jump scares and noices. It is a little bit more effective than the first film, especially in the house scenes. Here we see some good acting as well, especially from Callie Hernandez and James Allen McCunne. When these two have scenes together, they manage to lift the film quality a bit higher. Let´s talk about the so called Blair Witch. In the first film, we never really got to see if she existed, or if it was just a myth. Here you actually get to see her, and i think that was a good choice. Director Adam Wingard have done some good films in his career so far, especially the horror film You´re Next, and the very special film The Guest, that was almost a tribute to 80´s films. I like some of the ideas he have brought in to this sequel. You can tell he have tried to combine classic elements of the first film, and bring some new ideas to make it feel more updated. So far, so good. But when the jump scares become way too many, i feel a bit frustrated. Why rely on jump scares, when you can make a film scary in other ways ? Blair Witch does have some good ideas, that are not used in full potential. Another found footage horror film, that does not give anything new or dare to try different paths. If you want to see a great found footage film, check out Afflicted on dvd. That is how you do a great horror film in this genre. Blair Witch is not strong enough to hide the flaws.

Rating: DD

onsdag 19 oktober 2016

Swiss Army Man

Child actors who become very popular in big Hollywood films, have a lot of work to do to stay in the industry. They have to find a way to get auditions, and make sure that they find projects that interest them. Since the movie industry is very demanding, i can only imagine how hard it must be as a child actor, being in this business. There are of course many child actors we could mention, but let´s focus on two of them. Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. The 80´s seemed to be a time period where The Two Coreys were unstoppable, The Goonies, Silver Bullet, Lucas, The Lost Boys, License To Drive, so many films became classics at that time. Unfortunately we lost Corey Haim a couple of years ago, and i will always remember him for his work. Corey Feldman have continued working in the industry and have released several films, and now lately focus on his music career with the album Angelic 2 The Core. I suggest you go in and buy the album at this adress.


One child star that made headlines worldwide, as he was chosen as Harry Potter in the film adaptations of the books by J.K. Rowling, was a young boy named Daniel Radcliffe. He became a huge Hollywood star, and the Harry Potter films was enormously popular worldwide. I have seen all the films of course, and i have to say that i enjoyed all of them, some more than others. I think of of the reasons why most people loved the Harry Potter films, was all the characters that we all remember. As the final Harry Potter film came out, Daniel Radcliffe had to find other projects where he would feel comfortable with. And he did, as he also took some chances. Especially with the horror film The Woman In Black, where i think he did do a good job with his character. He also did a film called Horns, a film that combined a mix of fantasy and horror. Not his best work, but still nice to see him try other paths. Daniel have been working in theatre plays as well, and i have not seen one of them so far. I might have to try and see if i can experience this one day. When i read early of spring about a film called Swiss Army Man, and read what the film is about, i found myself very curious. This seemed to be a very odd project, especially with Daniel Radcliffe included in the cast. Since i always try and check out smaller films, this was one of the films i have been looking forward to see. I finally got a chance to sit down to experience Swiss Army Man. Is this as good as i was hoping, or is this a big failure on many levels ?

Hank ( Paul Dino ) is stuck on an island, and is about to hang himself. But suddenly he notice a corpse being flushed up on the beach, as he decide to cancel his hanging. He decides to use the corpse constant farts to try and travel on the ocean, but fails. They both end up at the same island again. Hank tries to communicate with the corpse, but with no luck at all. Until, one day, when the corpse begin to speak. He is named Manny ( Daniel Radcliffe ), and he have no idea where he is from, or why he is here. Hank tries to learn Manny things, as they live on the island. Hank finally have a idea, he will use Manny´s erection as a compass, and this will take them to the ordinary society. Manny wants to help Hank meet Sarah, a woman he have been in love for in a long time. But how will Manny learn to adjust in a society, being brought back to life ? Can he fit in with ordinary people ?

I had a feeling that Swiss Army Man would be a very special film. And this is indeed a very odd film, and i love it. This is the kind of comedy drama film you would not find usually, unless you have a director who really want to do something original. This is a hard film to describe, because i have never seen anything like Swiss Army Man before. And this could also be one of the funniest films i have seen this year, i laughed quite many times. As an example, imagine a corpse being afraid of his own boner ? He is terrified of what is going on, and his friend has to explain what this is. I know this might sound silly, but this is actually a very intelligent drama comedy with a lot more to say than this scene. We have a story of friendship, survival, deep thoughts and understanding life. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe are both really good in the lead roles, especially Daniel Radcliffe as the talking corpse. I will be honest and say that this is his best performance in his movie career. He have never been this good in any of the films he have made so far. Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert have made a film so unique, you will most likely not see anything as original as Swiss Army Man this year. The combination is so odd, you have to admit that this is a truly wonderful experience. They use different genre films, and mix it all together in their own unique way. The way that they tell a story between two men, in very different life circumstances, feels so fresh and tasteful. The music is also one detail i also enjoy, who would have ever thought to hear a beautiful version of Rednex old song Cotton Eye Joe, almost as if Coldplay made it ? There are not many films i see every year that stays in my mind. This film does, and there are plenty of reasons why. Swiss Army Man is a film with such a strong message, and with so much to offer, you have to experience it yourself to understand. Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won the best director award in the US Dramatic category at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. They really deserved this award for this wonderful film, and i hope more people will take their time and experience Swiss Army Man. Remember how good you felt watching Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite ? You will find that same feeling while watching Swiss Army Man. This is how a quality film should look like more often.

Rating: DDDD

lördag 15 oktober 2016


Ever since i met my wonderful wife, i was told from the first moment we became a couple, do not give her any clowns. In fact, she still hates clowns. And it is all because of the film adaptation of Stephen King´s It, where Tim Curry played his brilliant performance as the killer clown moster Pennywise. I still think this is a great film, and it may be one of the best performances Tim Curry did in his career. I know most people will say The Rocky Horror Picture Show is his best performance, for some reason i feel that Stephen King´s It proved him to be one of the most well made horror characters. Clowns in general are supposed to make us laugh, especially in circus shows. But for some reason, it feels like clowns have two sides of a personality. And you can´t help to feel that they might be demon possessed. Once you see their big smiles, and their creepy looks, you don´t want to be anywhere near them. Stephen King´s It gave us a look into a different world of a clown, and even until today, people all over the world love this film. Not that long ago, we actually had a great horror film with a clown released, simply called Clown. Directed by Jon Watts and produced by Eli Roth, this film worked out so well because of a great cast, and a great plot included. The way film tried to tell the origin story of clowns, in nordic folk tales, was a brilliant idea. Also great to see Peter Stormare in the cast, he did give this film a performance you will remember. Recently we have been reading in news papers around Sweden, that people are dressing up as clowns, and chasing people with different objects. Kind of spooky reading this, maybe because Halloween is around the corner. There have been several films where clowns are included, and one of the best classics is of course Killer Klowns From Outer Space. This is more of a horror comedy, that still works today. Earlier in the summer of 2016, i read about a new horror film called Clowntown. Not knowing anything about it, except that it was film with murder clowns in a small town, i got a but curious. Since the 2014 film Clown worked out so well, i was hoping we would have another fun clown film in our hands. Just a few weeks ago, Clowtown was released on VOD, so i had to check it out. Is this another great clown horror film, or should you skip this one at all cost ?

Brad ( Brian Nagel ), Sarah ( Lauren Compton ), and their friends are going to see a concert, located in another town. But one of the friends forget her wallet at a small diner, and needs to get the wallet back. She manage to get connected with the diner, and a man suggest they will meet up in a small town near by. But this small town is not the ordinary small town you would expect, a handful of murder clowns live here, waiting to find new victims.

The first time i saw the trailer for Clowntown, i actually thought it looked like a fun idea. Of course, a trailer is not always a guarantee for what you expect. After seeing this film, i can tell you that i have mixed feelings. Sure, i like the idea of a deserted town with only murder clowns. But is it well executed ? I will say this, that some of the clown characters do look a bit creepy. When the film finally gets going, you will eventually feel that this film could have been so much more fun, if you had some unexpected turns through the film. This becomes more of a very simple clown horror film, and you basically get the typical clichés we have all seen before. Now, what saves Clowntown from being a pile of turds, are the clown characters. The scenes where they get to kill these stupid people, are the highlights. Since the plot does not matter, the film rely on the clowns to go insane. And they do, in a few scenes. But not on that level that i would have liked to see. We could have had a much more brutal image done by this concept, because the idea is actually great. What we get is a pretty much basic slasher film, only with clowns instead. Director Tom Nagel have been in a number of films as an actor, Clowntown is his full feature debut film, and i like his idea behind the film. But his vision does not hold up completely, because he chooses to make this film way too simple. He should have tried and use a grindhouse style instead, and we might have had a really fun ride. Instead, we get a horror film filled with all the typical ingredients, made without much effort. Acting wise i can´t say we have that much to be happy about. A horror film can work without great acting, but only if the film works with other elements. Some scenes function, simply because of the clowns attacking. But the main cast, with Brian Nagel ( little brother of director Tom Nagel ), Lauren Compton, Andrew Staton among others, are not really effective. The best character is called Frank, played by Greg Violand. He gives the film another meaning, as the homeless man Frank, who lost his family because of the clowns. He should have had more scenes in this film, because the story around him feels more interesting. Clowntown is not all terrible, just too basic to care about. This is a horror film you probably wont remember. I suggest you check out Stephen King´s It instead. A remake is coming next year, let´s hope it will be good.

Rating: DD

fredag 14 oktober 2016

Mechanic: Resurrection

When ever you have a problem, with noisy neighbors, dreadful relatives, or you don´t get good service at the super market, there is only one guy to call. 

Jason Statham of course.

Just think about it, no matter what your problem is, he will kick and punch until the problem is solved, this actually sounds like the perfect christmas celebration this year. Statham is of course a man most of you people know from The Transporter, The Expendables and a lot of action movies over the years. I have always felt that he is really good at delivering solid action films, but of course we have some worse ones also out there. Since he knows he is limited in acting performances, he can adjust this with his fighting technique instead. And some guns included of course. One of the films i think should have been noticed more, is a film called Wild Card. A much more dramatic action film, but nice to see Statham do a different character. The film was a massive flop, and did not even make any money on dvd and blu ray sales. Well, it have sold over 3 million copies, but with a budget of 30 million, you can figure the numbers out. I still feel that Wild Card is worth a watch, because Statham did something different, and that should be respected. So go ahead and rent this film, you might actually be surprised. Statham have continued releasing new films constantly, so you know he works hard to deliver entertainment. If you prefer seeing him in pure action films, i would like to recommend his film Safe. Should be on Netflix, or you could just rent it. Now, let´s talk about one of his films from the past. Let´s go back to one of Statham films A film called The Mechanic, who is actually a remake of the 1972 film with Charles Bronson. At the time, i actually thought this was one of Statham´s better films. One of the reasons was that there actually was a story that functioned, between the action scenes. Also, we had Donald Sutherland included in the cast. The film did ok at the box office, making a profit. But i never expected that we would have a sequel from The Mechanic, so when this was announced, i was very surprised. Knowing how most Statham films are, i still decided to take a look at this sequel, just to see if i would be surprised. With a classic action star on board, do we get a popcorn feast, or should this be flushed down in the nearest toilet ?

Arthur Bishop ( Jason Statham ) faked his death, and is living in Rio De Janeiro quietly under the name Santos. One day, he is approached by an unknown woman, claiming that her employer wants him to kill 3 targets. Bishop take a picture of her, and fight down her mercenaries. To find out more about this woman, Bishop goes to Thailand. He takes shelter at his friend Mae´s ( Michelle Yeoh ) beach house, while he investigate about the secret woman.  A young woman named Gina Thorne ( Jessica Alba ) arrive at the shore, and bump into Bishop. Mae notice that Gina might be abused, as she finds bruises on her body. That same night, Mae notice that Gina is being beaten in a ship, so she tell Bishop to go out and help her. He accidently kill the man, and set fire on the boat to cover his tracks. Bishop finds out that Gina is actually working for Riah Crain ( Sam Hazeldine ), a disturbed criminal.  Crain was the man, who tried to convince Bishop to kill 3 targets, back in Brazil. He still wants Bishop to kill the 3 targets, so he kidnaps Gina as a security, to force Bishop to fix the targets. Bishop have no other way out, but he also plans to make sure that Crain is punished.

If you are not a fan of Jason Statham´s films, i have a feeling Mechanic: Resurrection wont change your mind. In fact, you pretty much know what this film is going to be. Violence, action, fights, weapons, all the basics you need for a cozy evening. And if you have seen most of his films, don´t expect any surprises here. This is basically the typical action film from a Statham view. One of the things i think we should mention, is that Jessica Alba does her usual performance. That means she does a character we have seen her do so many times before, and this is supposed to be a different character from her other films. She is not really good at doing characters, but who knows, maybe one day she will surprise us ? No one expected to see Adam Sandler do a really good role in Reign Over Me, and he did. So let´s hope for the best. From an action perspective, this is where Mechanic: Resurrection works best. With less dialogue and more violence, you can at least find yourself enjoying this from an entertainment perspective. Director Dennis Gansel have directed mostly german films in the past, and you could say that this film is his big break through into the Hollywood industry. He does manage to find a way to use Jason Statham well in the intensive action scenes, but the problem becomes clear that he is not that good on dramatic scenes. If you want to make emotions being captured on screen, you have to make sure that the actors know their characters. Jason tries to be Arthur Bishop again, from the first film, but i have to say you don´t really feel the same connection. Somehow he worked better in the first film, from a character perspective. Tommy Lee Jones is also here, and he should have had more scenes. I would say that he is a highlight in this film, even if i have seen him do much better performances in the past. One detail that is positive is that this film takes place in Brazil and Bangkok this time ( and some other locations ). This helps the film get a different approach. The plot is not something you really care about, so it all comes down to what this is, a pure action film, made to please the audience that wish 50 Shades never existed. Even if Statham is no great actor, he knows how to fight, and do stunts, and he gets to prove that this time around. Mechanic: Resurrection is a dumb film, but also fun to watch if you just want lots of violence and bad acting. Not as good as the first Mechanic film, still good enough for zipping some beers and a sliced pizza. And a lap dance of course included, how could i forget that ? I guess i better take my memory pills soon, or who knows where i might run naked.

Rating: DDD

måndag 10 oktober 2016

A Personal Story To Share

People are inspired by many different things.  It can be books, through sports, music, or just meeting people.  For me the biggest inspiration in my life, have always been films.  Ever since my early childhood i watched films in all categories, even the ones i was not supposed to see.  When I was around 16 i started trying to write my own movie reviews on paper, writing it all with a simple pencil.  At the time,  i always turned into the movie review tv program Ronnys Rullar on swedish tv channel Kanal 5. Ronny Svensson was the best movie review guy, and he was just like me, watching everything coming out on VHS. I started being more interested in writing movie reviews in early 2001, as I began writing down reviews on my computer.  I took a long break in writing reviews for many years, until around 2010. After watching one episode of South Park, where the kids made a tv news program called Super Sexy Action News.  

This gave me a fantastic idea. 

Why not start my own movie review page with Daniels Super Sexy Movie Reviews?  So i did after almost a year later.  And now for 5 years i have been writing movie reviews in here,  and i am very grateful for this blog.  This is my way to express my thoughts, my own view on films from all over the world. No matter what you love doing,  dont let anyone tell you what you should not do.  I followed my own instincts and made this page.

Thank you everyone worldwide for reading my reviews,  you are all awsome,  and it means a lot to me.  

See you soon in here with some fresh movie reviews. 

Cheers from Daniel 

onsdag 5 oktober 2016

Hard Target 2

If you grew up in the 80´s, just like myself, you might remember how important films coming out of Hong Kong were, especially martial arts action films. Of course this market started growing, since people loved to see fast, hard hitting, action films, with extreme violence. There were a lot of films rolling out on VHS and in cinemas, but one man was perhaps the biggest of them all in the Hong Kong action scene. John Woo, a man with a vision to make films in a majestic way. He wanted to lift up the martial art films to a different level, and use film technique in a fast and smooth way. A Better Tomorrow from 1986 is an example of how he managed to bring his view on Hong Kong cinema. But his biggest proof of his amazing film technique skills, was proven in the 1989 film called The Killer. In my mind, this is one of the best Hong Kong action films ever made, with fantastic action scenes. There are other classics of course we could mention, but let´s talk about one of the films from John Woo, that i find to be one of the better films with Jean-Claude Van Damme. The 1993 action film Hard Target, was the first american action film to be directed by John Woo. And he did a really good job, bringing his style into a Van Damme film. Also, it worked well with the special kicks that is Van Damme´s unique trade mark, we all know from childhood. Van Damme brought a completely different performance than his usual action films. This film was much more violent, more raw, and insane stunt effects included. It also included an insane performance by legendary actor Lance Henriksen. Hard Target was actually a box office hit, and of course panned by most critics. But the fans of Van Damme did not care, because they loved seeing him work with John Woo. One of the things i really enjoyed of this film is the visual action scenes, so detailed and constructed, you could tell John Woo knew what he was doing. I have heard that there is a Director´s Cut out there of this film, that is very difficult to find. It would have been fun to see it one day, just to see if you see any differences from the original film. Now i did not expect to ever see a sequel of Hard Target, because no one seemed to be interested in doing it. Until i heard the news that action legend Scott Adkins would be in a sequel, simply called Hard Target 2. I love many of his films, especially Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear, one of my favourite martial arts action films in many years. So when this Hard Target sequel finally landed on blu ray, i bought myself a copy to experience, if this would be as good as i was hoping it could be. With a really good action actor on board, is this the sequel we all deserved, or should they have left the original film alone ?

Martial arts fighter Wes " The Jailor " Baylor ( Scott Adkins ) retire after a match, where he accidently kill his friend Jonny Sutherland ( Troy Honeysett ) in a fight. Filled with remorse, and sorrow, he tries to find another way to make money. After a fight, Wes meet Jonah Aldrich ( Robert Knepper ), a very rich businessman, who offers Wes a very good deal. If he agree to do one major fight, on a secret location, he will be offered much more than he ever have before. Since Wes is need of cash, he agree to accept this fight. They fly off to Burma, where the fight is supposed to take place. But once they land, Wes notice that this is not an ordinary fight. People who have come here, have paid lots of money to hunt a living human, in this case it is Wes. if he survive, he will be paid enormously well. But only if he can manage to survive to a certain location. This is not what Wes agreed on, but he realise he can´t get out now, so he is forced to accept the challenge.

When you make a sequel, after 23 years, you have to make sure you know it is going to deliver to the fans of the first film. And i have to say, Hard Target 2 is one of the best action films this year so far. Holy shit, the fighting, the action scenes, this is just what we needed in 2016. No 50 Shades Darker bullshit, just pure hard action with the master Scott Adkins. Now this guy knows exactly what he is doing. He can fight, and do stunt scenes in really effective scenes. I would dare to say that he is one of the best at delivering action films in these days. Knowing that this is the sequel to the John Woo classic in 1993, i know a lot of fans of the original film might compare this film and have their opinions. I don´t think i need to compare these films, simply because i know that it is hard to make a sequel to such a great classic as Hard Target. But i will say this, for trying to be a sequel, i think director Roel Reiné have made his best film in his career so far. In the past, he have directed films such as Death Race 2, Death Race 3 and The Man With The Iron Fists 2. He clearly have a passion for action films, but i think the biggest reason why Hard Target 2 is his best film so far, is because he have worked hard to find a similar style of the original film. From a film quality perspective, this is his best looking film also. He manage to capture the feeling of how we want to see Scott Adkins, raw, rough and kicking ass. The location filmed around Thailand looks beautiful, and fits the story great. Speaking of the story, that might be the only issue i have here. It does not make much sense, but honestly, there are more positive details in this film to be happy about. Apart from Scott Adkins, we also get some nice performances from Rhona Mitra. When she begins to fight, there is no way you can feel disappointed. She is not the kind of woman you want to say the wrong words to, trust me....I also enjoy the main villain Aldrich, played by Robert Knepper. Maybe not as good as Lance Henriksen was in the original film, but still good enough to portrait a scum bag. If you love weapons, fighting, explosions, we have it all here, and in 2016, we don´t get to see all of this in a classic 90´s style action film. So you need to go down and buy Hard Target 2 on dvd, or blu ray, right now. Support B movie action films in a high quality like this film, we need these films to be made people. Scott Adkins, what would this world be without you ? Never stop making these films, if you do the world will be lost. Hard Target 2 is a ball smasher with no stopping, you simply have to see this one.

Rating: DDDD

lördag 1 oktober 2016


Let´s travel back in time, to the year of 2003. This was the year when Limp Bizkit returned with their 4th album Results May Vary, it was also the year when the SARS virus was all over the news, with infected people. It was also the year when Kevin Costner returned to the western genre, with the unexpected well made film Open Range. Not only did he direct the film, he was also one of the producers. I strongly suggest you rent this film, especially if you love western films. Let´s leave this genre, and move on and talk about a completely different film. This year, Rob Zombie released his film House Of 1000 Corpses. Rob Zombie, the musician, artist ? Yep, that guy with the long beard. You could say that he was inspired by grindehouse films, with a 70´s style. And i have to say i think he managed to capture the feeling of the grindhouse cinema, using different tasteful ingredients. His first film turned out to be just a taste of what he was about to bring us next. His second film The Devil´s Rejects is a horror film, that proved what a great director he can be with the right material. The dialogue is stronger, the acting is even better, and the story is really insane and entertaining. Even today i have The Devil´s Rejects on my own list among top horror films, simply because it is a classic in my opinion. When Rob Zombie decided to remake Halloween, the classic 70´s horror film from legendary director John Carpenter, he actually made a film better than all the sequels. Not as good as the original film of course, but still better than i expected. His sequel Halloween 2 might have been brutal, but not as good as his first film. I think he focused more on the violence than on the characters, turned out to be a mistake. Rob then started working on a completely different project, a film like nothing he have done before. It turned out to be The Lords Of Salem. A very odd film, and this film actually upset many fans. This was not what they asked for, and the film did not get that many ticket buyers. I personally did not feel that it was a horrible film, it just was not strong as his first films. Rob continued working with his music, touring, and focused on all kinds of projects, and eventually he told the world he would go back to his roots, making his next film 31 more of his earlier films. So he asked fans to help him on Fanbacked, where you could be apart of his film, by supporting the project. He got a lot of money collected, i was one of the people who helped the campaign. I was really excited to see if 31 would bring Rob Zombie back, as one of the best horror directors of our time. So when 31 finally got released on VOD, i ran straight in and rented it, because i just had to see it. Is this the best film from Rob Zombie in many years, or should he have skipped this project from the beginning ?

It is the year of 1976. A group of carnival workers, including Charly ( Sheri Moon Zombie ), Roscoe Pepper ( Jeff Daniels Phillips ), Panda Thomas ( Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs ), Venus Virgo ( Meg Foster ), Fat Randy ( Michael " Red Bone " Alcott ) and Levon Wally ( Kevin Jackson ), are travelling on the highway, together in a van. They are forced to stop on a road, as they arrive to very odd road blocks. It turns out to be a trap, and the carnival workers are kidnapped to a isolated compound known as Murderworld. Here the compound is in control by game host Father Murder ( Malcolm McDowell ), who have a game waiting for the visitors. They have to survive inside the compound, against psychopathic serial killers, armed with different weapons. If they manage to survive, they will be released. If they don´t, they will be another victim among all the others corps. There is especially one serial killer, that Father Murder have hope for, the true champion known as Doom-Head ( Richard Brake ). When things don´t go as planned, Father Murder knows that Doom-Head will finish the job.

Since i found the first 2 films of Rob Zombie really entertaining, i was hoping that 31 would be a step back into his roots of the grindhouse genre. He have returned to some of the style of the previous films, but perhaps not as much as i was hoping for.  Another detail is the lack of strong characters. Both films House Of 1000 Corpses and The Devil´s Rejects had characters you remembered especially Captain Spaulding, brilliant played by Sid Haig. And of course Otis, who did a wonderful performance from legendary actor Bill Moseley. I would dare to say that these 2 films are much better than most horror films i have seen since the millenium. Especially The Devil´s Rejects, now here is a film with power. From the start to the finish, there is so much violence, vulgar language and brutality that ( some ) religious people, will most likely call this film demonic. In 31 you also get lots of violence, but perhaps a bit softer, and not as brutal as we would have hoped for. If you are going back to your roots, you might as well go insane and bring some really disturbed shit. Because that´s what you would expect from Rob Zombie, he have proved himself in the past. Now, i would not say that 31 fails completely. Simply because there are some good ideas here, especially being another version of the classic 80´s film The Running Man. And this chase does have some highlights, where characters wearing makeup try to murder the chosen guests, in every possible way they can. This time we do have a few great characters, especially Doom-Head, played by Richard Brake. I will say that he is perhaps the strongest character in this film, and i love to see his disturbing anger break out, fits great with the films concept. Of course we get to see Sheri Moon Zombie, always great as usual and looks fantastic as well. I also enjoy the performance of legendary actor Malcolm McDowell, a true professional at doing different characters. Once the chase really begin, we get to see different surviving fights, and most of them work. My problem with 31 is that Rob promised from the beginning, ( as he was going to make this film ), that it would be filled with gore and violence. But it does not feel like the good days of his first 2 films. And that is a shame, because i like the concept that he tried to do here. Apart from this, i can´t complain much more, there is still something positive to see about 31. As a horror film, we do have ingredients here that feels tasteful, and who does not enjoy chainsaw battles with insane people ? Even though i feel a little bit disappointed about 31, i still feel this is still a fun ride, especially because of some fun characters. 31 is a film that will most likely be divided by fans, some will enjoy it, some will not. But remember one thing, since the horror genre is filled with many mainstream films, we still need Rob Zombie to make his films. Without him we would not have the gore that some directors don´t dare to experiment with. This explains why you should give 31 a chance, i hope you heard that Salvation Army ?

Rating: DDD