tisdag 28 mars 2017

Don´t Kill It


The country known for Abba, musicals, 38 seasons of Bonde Söker Fru, cult classic films such as Dyke Hard, and of course Johannes Brost, known as the man all middle aged women want. You might have been reading a lot of news about Sweden lately, so let me tell you this. Everything is not bad, because about 10 million swedes are filled in their hearts for the love of one iconic swede. You all know his name, Dolph Lundgren. You can not say Zlatan is the biggest here, if you do, you will most likely be punched in the face. Because everyone should know, this is The Land Of The Dolph, and Zlatan will never fill his shoes. On every street of Stockholm, or in Karlshamn, you will see people dancing around, because they love Dolph. Why does swedish people love Dolph so much ? Because he is Dolph, that´s everything you need in life to be filled with passion. It all started back in 1987, when Dolph Lundgren got his big break as Ivan Drago, the russian war boxing machine, fighting against Sylvester Stallone. Ever since Rocky 4 made him a superstar, Dolph have given us a lot of wonderful films. The list is so long, it would take forever to go through them all. But i suggest we mention just a few, such as the first Universal Soldier film, also including Jean-Claude Van Damme. I also really enjoyed Red Scorpion, a hard hitting action cult film, worth having on blu ray. In more recent years, i think Dolph really proved himself in Skin Trade, a really solid action film with Tony Jaa included. One of the best films i have seen in B movie action in recent years. Dolph have made so many films since the early 80´s, that he never seems to stop. And this is of course something to be happy about. I have followed his career for a long time, and even if he is getting older, he can still kick more ass than most 20 year olds. Since he have been very successfull with The Expendables trilogy, it is nice to see that he still tries to do something different, when he can. Did anyone of you see him in Kindergarten Cop 2 ? Not a classic in any way, but i love the idea of Dolph being a kindergarten teacher. So what would you say if you could see Dolph as a Demon Hunter ? When i first heard about the film Don´t Kill It, i thought the idea was brilliant. So of course i had to check this film out on VOD. Is this another classic Dolph film, or is he desperate to just take any role he can ?

An ancient demon possess people in a small Mississippi town. Familes are found brutally murdered, and police are not sure why ordinary people kill their loved ones. Jebediah Woodley ( Dolph Lundgren ) is a professional demon hunter. He knows what kinds of demons are out there. Agent Evelyn Pierce ( Kristina Klebe ) is working to get these murders solved, but she understands that this is not an ordinary killer. Jebediah knows how to catch demons, but he have a long road ahead of him, to prove that he is actually right. If this is not done correctly, all hell will break loose, completely.

It is very clear, from the first scene we see Dolph show himself as a demon hunter, you know he is where he belongs. His natural way to act, in the way that he can do, is just a simple delight. He does not need to be an Oscar actor, because he always knows how to make his characters. Don´t Kill It is his first horror film, where there are some comedy influneces thrown in. So does Dolph function in horror ? He does, but does this film work ? I would say yes, for the most part. Another actor Kristina Klebe, also does a good job with her performance as Agent Evelyn Pierce. As a horror film, Don´t Kill It does manage to combine possessed human bodies, with classic slasher horror. But to be honest, it would have taken more original ideas to make this even more fun. Because we have seen something similar to Don´t Kill It before, maybe not presented in the same way as this film, but you will see what i mean. There are moments in this film, where we do get to laugh. Especially when you see the possessed humans run around, chopping people with axes, split heads, all the classic chopping ingredients. You will also laugh in some scenes, when Dolph throw in some cheesy lines, that you know only he can get away with. So far, so good. The problem eventually turns out to be that you won´t see any big surprises. A film like this does not need to have them, but in this case i think it could have helped Don´t Kill It to be even more fun. Still, i think this is a fun tribute to splatter films of the 80´s and 90´s. Director Sam Mendes have directed several films in the past, and 2 of them are films you should see. Big Ass Spider! and of course Lavalantula. Both fun low budget horror films, where i find especially Big Ass Spider! to be a future cult movie. Don´t Kill It is also a film that he manage to deliver us a good time, and you can tell he have a passion for old school films. The practical effects looks nice, especially when people get body parts blown by a shotgun, or split a head. The story set in a small town, fits with the story. Even if we can recognize certain details of this film, from equal stories, it does not affect this film in any negative way. Don´t Kill It is a film, that will please fans of Evil Dead. Nothing original, but with enough treats for all of you who loves this genre. Now excuse me, demons have stolen my tv remote control again. Why can´t they let me watch Days Of Our Lives ?

Rating: DDD

tisdag 21 mars 2017

Patriots Day

The world can be a wonderful place, but sometimes we are faced with an awful truth, that no one want to be a part of. I am especially thinking about all the tragedies that struck us all, where terrorism can shatter lives in just seconds, for no reason at all. They might think there is a reason to do what they do, but they don´t see all the destruction, and all the pain they cause. Terrorism is never ok, no matter where they opperate in this world. No matter what terrorist organisation they are a part of, i can´t see a reason why they need to kill innocent people. We have had a lot of films based on different terrorist attacks. One film i am thinking about at this moment, is the 2012 film called Zero Dark Thirty, based on the hunt on Osama Bin Laden. Directed by Katheryn Bigelow ( who have directed several great films, such as The Hurt Locker ), she managed to tell the story behind this operation in a very effective way. Lead actor Jessica Chastain did a really powerful performance as the CIA intelligence analyst Maya.  If you have not seen this film for some reason, watch it on rental, or on a streaming site. One of my personal favourite films about terrorism, is Michael Moore´s classic documentary film Farenheit 9/11 from 2004. A very interesting documentary film, about the terror attack on New York city, and also about George Bush, all mixed up in a fascinating story. Director Michael Moore clearly made a lot of good points in this film, especially about how George Bush handled the situation over 9/11. America have always been involved, when it comes to hunting down terrorists and dictators. But what if a terrorist attack happens on a day, when no one expects anything, during a marathon race ? This is what happened in 15th of April in 2003. Two suspects seemed to carry backpacks, where 2 bombs went off in public. That day destroyed the lives of many people, who lost their loved ones. Some survived, but was badly injured. The hunt after the terrorists became big in the city of Boston. The two brothers who were arrested, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, killed police officers and wounded some, including kidnapping a civilian. We now have a film, based on these true events, from director Beter Berg. Some of you might remember him from the cult film Very Bad Things, or perhaps for his work as an director of several films. Patriots Day is the third collaboration between Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg. Is this a really emotionally hard film to watch, or should this project have been offered to another director ?

Boston Police Department Sergeant Tommy Saunders ( Mark Wahlberg ) is asked to patrol during the Boston Marathon Day. Everything seems alright, people enjoying the marathon race, until 2 explosions go off. Chaos breaks out, and Tommy does all he can to help. Commissioner Ed Davis ( John Goodman ) with his team, including FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers ( Kevin Bacon ) all work together, to make sure they find the right suspects. Sergeant Tommy suggest they need to ask the public for help, or they might loose witnesses. A hunt has just begun, and no matter what happens, justice must be done.

To see director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg work together again, is a pure delight. They have done a really good job with their previous films Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon. Patriots Day is of course a bit different from director Peter Berg´s films, especially because this is based on a terrorist attack in Boston. For those of you who listened to the news back in 2013, remember the horrible pictures, where so many people were wounded, even killed. When you see a film like Patriots Day, and you know this actually happened in real life, it is very hard not to feel sadness. Especially for all the victims, and their families. Director Peter Berg have done a really good job with this film, trying to capture the feeling of what actually happened. The characters feel realistic, and the decisions they make during the chaos, after the bombs went off. Mark Wahlberg as the Sergeant Tommy Saunders, is clearly a very interesting portrait, of a man who witnessed the bombings. How do you deal with this, while still being professional ? Can you really leave work without bringing it home, when you have images in your mind of dead children ? Wahlberg does another really good performance, as he usually always does. He is that kind of actor who can do all kinds of genres, and handle it with grace. But we also have other really good performances here. John Goodman as Police Commissioner Ed Davis. He proves once again why he is one of the old school actors, who can take on any character and deliver with power. Kevin Bacon is also here as Special Agent Richard DesLauriers. We don´t need to question if he is any good, he always is in every film he does. The best thing about these films, where Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg work together, is that they have so far only delivered quality films. Who would have thought that Lone Survivor would be good, coming out in January of 2013 ( the month were almost all film companies release bad films, except for some exceptions ) ? You can clearly tell that they enjoy working together, and also have some really important stories to share. Patriots Day is a very strong thriller, were we get to see what happened, both before the bombs went off, but also after the tragedy. Did everyone do this manhunt right ? Is there another truth behind what happened ? Did the evidence tell something else ? There are a lot of questions to think about throughout the film. But one thing is clear, no matter when civil people are killed, or harmed, you can´t accept this. Director Peter Berg seems to have digged into the story, in a realistic way, both from police perspective, as well as everyone else involved in the investigation. How much is the truth ? I would say that director Peter Berg have tried to tell the story, as realistic as he can. There is no doubt, Patriots Day is one hell of a good thriller, and this could possibly be the best film from the three films that director Peter Berg have done with Mark Wahlberg. A very powerful, and emotional film, that reminds us that we need to stay united in critical times.

Rating: DDDD

lördag 18 mars 2017

Awful Super Hero Movies : Captain America ( The 1990 version )

Since the millenium, we have had some really good super hero films released, especially from Marvel Studios. We are of course talking about Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, the list never ends. Most of these films ( including their sequels ) are really good. But there was a time in my youth, when films were made, based on comic book characters, that failed completely. There are of course a number of films we could mention, who can forget Superman 4 - A Quest For Peace ? The fact that Christopher Reeve even accepted to do this film, is still today a mystery to me. He will always be Superman to me, especially for the first 2 films, and Superman 2 is actually one of the best super hero movies of the 80´s. Director Richard Donner proved himself, by doing a solid action film, and the special effects were not bad ( considering it was the early 80´s ). I suggest you get Superman and Superman 2 on blu ray, these classic films with Christopher Reeve is still today cult classic films. Now, let´s talk about the bad period of super hero films again. I remember one of those god awful films of the 90´s, did anyone see Steel, with basket player Shaquile O´Neil ? Of course this was supposed to make kids think Steel was a bad ass character, but in all honesty, Steel was more of a pile of turds. Anyone else remember Supergirl, based on the comic book character ? This film is of course not as awful as Steel, but still this film proved, why you don´t make a film without solid acting and special effects. Supergirl was supposed to continue the legacy of Superman, but this film failed in so many ways. I don´t think Helen Slater was a bad choice for the lead role, it is just the film itself that could not function as a super hero movie. How many of you love the Captain America films that Marvel have given us so far ? I am of course talking about the films, with lead actor Chris Evans. When his first film as Captain America came out in 2011, both critics and audiences were really pleased with the film Captain America: The First Avenger. The film had solid acting, good special effects and also a good plot included. The sequel known as Captain America: The Winter Soldier turned out to be even better than the first film. Now, you could clearly see that Chris Evans have grown into his character, known as Steve Rogers. This sequel also had a lot of more characters in the film, i am especially thinking of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Anthony Mackie as Falcon. The best film so far ( in my opinion ) is of course Captain America: Civil War. This film really had so many comic book characters united, fighting against each other. But this review, i am posting today, is about the 90´s film version of Captain America, and we take a look on why this is one of the worst comic book film adaptations. Who would have known that legendary director Albert Pyun would take on to this project ? Either way, enjoy this one, and you might actually want to see this film, or do you ?

Italy, in the year of 1936, a young boy named Tadzio de Santis is kidnapped by the government, where they want to use him in a secret experiment, to create a Fascist Supersoldier. Dr. Maria Vaselli ( Carla Cassola ) does not agree with the experiment, and escape the building. 7 years later, in California, the American government finds a volunteer to their experiment, his name is Steve Rodgers ( Matt Salinger ). They want to create their own supersoldier. As the experiment goes on, Maria Vaselli is murdered by a nazi, and Steve manage to take him out. Meanwhile, Red Skull ( Scott Paulin ) is planning to launch a missile on the White House. Steve, now sent in on his first mission as Captain America, is supposed to defeat Red Skull and stop the missile. But things do not go as planned, and Captain America is tied onto the missile, and it is launched towards the White House. They miss the target, thanks to Captain America, and the missile lands in Alaska. Here he is frozen down, until the year of 1993. Researchers find Steve wake him up, and he find himself in a very different world, where Red Skull is still causing terror. There is only one man who can stop the evil Red Skull, and that is Captain America.

It becomes very clear, right from the beginning of the film, that we are about to experience something unique. Let me explain it this way. Combine acting from Days Of Our Lives, and throw in some really horrible dialogue ( let´s not even talk about the make up ), and you have the soap opera version of Captain America. This film is so bad, it is hard to explain what you are watching. Ok, i can understand that they wanted to make a film, based on a legendary Marvel comic book characters. But when they don´t have any budget, or any professional actors on board ( except for Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Scott Paulin and Michael Nouri ), things clearly falls apart. To be honest, i don´t know why legendary B movie director Albert Pyun wanted to make this film. This was just a year after he released the classic Jean-Claude Van Damme film Cyborg. He probably wanted to try something different, but it becomes very clear that he can´t tell a super hero movie story, the way it should be told. It is almost as if he tries to tell this story, very serious, but it all becomes so cheesy, you don´t really understand what the point is. And the action scenes ? Well, they don´t help the film in any way. Lead actor Matt Salinger is supposed to be the charming, good looking Steve Rogers, who later becomes Captain America. If he was supposed to be a sex symbol for the late 1940´s, then i think we can be honest and say that this also fails. Matt Salinger does not even do a performance, worthy a classic comic book character. Sure, he does wear the Captain America costume ( was this the best they could do ? ), but other than that i can´t see any point with this project. Let´s talk about the main villain Tadzio de Santis, who transforms into Red Skull. These characters are played by actor Scott Paulin. It is kind of sad seeing a legendary actor like him, do these characters. You might remember him from films such as Teen Wolf, Turner & Hooch or The Accused with Jodie Foster. Maybe he just saw the film Captain America as a paycheck, or if he just wanted to try being a comic book character. Who knows, i think the biggest question of all is why legendary director Menahem Golan wanted to produce this film ? We all know he did a lot of cheesy B movies in Cannon Films, but some of the ones were also good. Maybe he actually thought the audience would enjoy this version of Captain America? In all honesty, the 1990 version of this legendary comic book character, is perhaps one of the worst Marvel films ever made. So why should you watch it ? Well, if you enjoy some of the films by legendary director Albert Pyun ( like i do, especially Nemesis ), you might want to see his version of Captain America. And you will laugh, but for the wrong reasons. I am glad that the new Captain America films deliver so much quality and entertainment worldwide today. It reminds us why the 90´s was an awful time for super hero films. Maybe i should do my own version, it can´t be worse than this film, right ?

Rating: D

Oh, by the way, if you still want to see this film, pick up the blu ray release of Captain America, released by Shout! Factory, where director Albert Pyun will tell you his thoughts on this film.

torsdag 16 mars 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2

Being a teenager in the 90´s, i used to run down to the local video store called Videomix in Uddevalla. I rented VHS films all the time, and i remember when the owner once told me :- Do you really have time to see all of these films ? I was a VHS nerd, and i still am i suppose, but upgraded for a dvd / blu ray nerd instead. In the 90´s, there were some really good action films released. Especially one film, that is just as good today, as it was back in 1996. The film i am thinking about is of course The Rock. Holy mother of Ron De Jeremy Rum, this film had so many intensive action scenes, that you could not let this film go. I still think that this is the best film by director Michael Bay ( he have actually made some good films, The Island is also a good choice ). The Rock did not only have fantastic action scenes, we had some good acting also from Sean Connery, Ed Harris, Nicolas Cage, William Forsythe and Michael Biehn. It has now passed over 20 years since this film came out, and i still think that The Rock is one of the best action films of the 90´s. But let´s stay for a moment in the 90´s. Remember the early films of actor Keanu Reeves ? Bill And Ted films or perhaps Point Break with Patrick Swayze ? I am thinking about another film, that became a huge box office hit, called Speed. Released in 1994, Speed is an action film, with a different twist than most action films. A bus full of strangers, where a bomb is on board. If they don´t drive withing a certain speed limit, the bus will explode, and they can´t stop. A smart idea for a plot, and the film was also very well made. Keanue Reeves proved himself to be an action star, and of course Sandra Bullock did a great job as well. I would like to say that Dennis Hopper, as the evil terrorist, is one of the strongest characters of the film. Speed is still an action classic, and i think this film proved that you can make an action film, without a lot of CGI effects, and use more simple details. Keanu Reeves have of course since the 90´s, been in a number of great films, where The Matrix trilogy is of course included. Constantine is one of my personal favourite films with Keanu Reeves, a really well made film, based on the DC Comics´ Hellblazer. If you have not seen this film, make sure you get the blu ray. As Keanu Reeves continued his film career, he made a sudden turn in 2014 with the action film John Wick. This became a box office hit, and is a very well made action film. The difference between John Wick and other action films, that came out in 2014, was that this film had a much cooler look, and had some really intensive action scenes, where CGI was not used ( lovely ). I had a feeling that a sequel would be coming our way, so here we are, we have the next chapter in cinemas with John Wick. Of course i had to see it in cinemas, since i enjoyed the first film a lot. Is this a worthy sequel to a really good action film, or does this sequel fall in the usual trap of bad choices ?

Former assassin John Wick ( Keanu Reeves ) track down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 at a chop shop, owned by Abram Tarasov ( Peter Stormare ). John try to take his car out of the chop shop, but is attacked by Abram's men.  They destroy his car, but John kill them all, except for Abram, and decides to let him live. After Johns friend Aurelio ( John Leguizamo fix his car, John Wick is visited by Italian crime lord Santino D' Antonio ( Riccardo Scamarcio ). Santino demand that John will help him, since they have sworn a blood oath, through a symbolized medallion.  John refuse to help Santino, so Johns house is destroyed with a grenade launcher. Winston ( Ian McShane ) , owner of the Continental Hotel in New York, warn John about the danger of breaking the rules of the underworld. Eventually John accept a mission from Santino, to go to Rome and assassinate his sister Gianna D' Antonio ( Claudia Gerini ). As John confront her, Gianna decides to take her own life.  As John leaves, he is confronted by Santino's men,  who tries to kill him. Something does not seem right, was he led to a trap, or does Santino have other plans? 

Since i was hoping that John Wick: Chapter 2 would continue the story of John Wick, in a very elegant way as the first film, i can tell you i am a ( little bit ) disappointed. Not because of the hard hitting action scenes, but for the emotional look inside his life. Outside the massive action scenes, you don´t really feel that you care about John Wick´s personal life, as much as you would like to. I like Keanu Reeves as John Wick, no question about that. But the scenes where we are supposed to see his more personal sides, does not feel very emotional. So it is basically when his anger comes out, where we get to have some more fun. As an action film, John Wick: Chapter 2 does deliver. We have plenty of raw hard hitting action scenes, with lots of guns and fighting. And that is a good sign, because this is the way we want to see John Wick. There are some scenes, where you really feel at home. Especially when you get to see Wick clean up, using all kinds of fighting technique. It is almost as you can hear him break some bones, and for me this is a sign that love actually does exist. If you remember the first film, directed by Chad Stahelski, it had a very stylish look, and gorgeous cinematography by Jonathan Sela. Not only was Keanu Reeves really good as John Wick, but the main villain Viggo Tarasov ( by swedish actor Michael Nyqvist ) was a mean, bad ass character. The action scenes looked really good. I can tell you that director Chad Stahelski have managed to capture the atmosphere, in this sequel of the first film. He must have known that fans would demand to see a worthy sequel. And this is a good sequel, no doubt about that. Although, i would have wanted the film to be more focused on the dark sides of John Wick, instead of the personal images of his life. Keanu Reeves continue to impress me, with his take on the character John Wick. You can tell that he wants to make sure, that he really does all the fighting, and as much action stunts as he possibly can do. Nice to see Laurence Fishburne here as The Bowery King, and Peter Stormare as the russian gangster Abram Tarasov ( too bad he is only in the film for a short time ). The story is not very deep, but then again, the first film did not have a very deep story. It is more about the character, and his struggling to get the job done. I can see what director Chad Stahelski wanted to do with this sequel, showing a more personal side of John Wick, and a look inside the assassin world. As far as the look inside the assassin world, this part works pretty good, while the other part could have been stronger. Overall, i suggest you see John Wick: Chapter 2 in a cinema near you, i doubt you will see any action film as well made as this one this spring. Once the actions scenes kick in, you feel like a young boy at Christmas Eve, clapping your hands. Tired of all those romantic comedies that always end up in cinemas, making your day feel miserable? John Wick: Chapter 2 will make sure to wipe them all out, it is such a lovely thing what some big guns can do to make a brighter day.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 8 mars 2017

I Am Michael

I am not afraid to say that i have nothing against homosexual people. Ever since my sister came out, i have seen the world from a complete different view. No matter who you are, gay or straight, how we look, skin color, or personalities, we are all unique. So if someone is homosexual, does not make them less good people. In fact, from my experiences, i can tell you that many homosexuals are really nice. They will help you with anything ( and i mean that ). No matter what it is, or if tragedy strikes, they will support you. And i had some really fun times at gay clubs, just dancing and meeting nice people. I know that there is still hate in this world, over homosexuals. But for those who are reading this review, don´t give up. No one should be forced to change themselves, so keep on fighting for your rights. Homosexual subjects on films can be found in many countries. We have documentary films, with different people telling their stories, and we have feature films, telling true stories about homosexual people. I have seen a number of films, and i would like to talk about one film in particular. Gus Van Sant´s film Milk, about the politician, and gay activist Harvey Milk, who was murdered in San Fransisco. A very powerful and emotional film, where Sean Penn did a absolutely splendid performance, as Harvey Milk. Actor James Franco also made a wonderful performance in the film Milk, and the film have a very strong political message. Another powerful film about homosexuals is of course A Single Man, where Colin Firth made a wonderful performance as the homosexual teacher George Falconers. The film was nominated for several awards, and Colin Firth won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a leading role. If you have not seen any of these two films ( that i have mentioned ), i suggest you see them. Remember earlier that i mentioned actor James Franco ? A very powerful actor, with a lot of really good performances in his backpack. One of the films i always suggest people should see, with James Franco in the lead role, is the Danny Boyle film 127 Hours. Based on the true story, of adventurer Aron Ralston, who got his arm stuck between a big rock, out in the endless desert area of Blue John Canyon. Very well made film, with a powerful performance by James Franco. There are of course a numbers of films, but i came across a new one, recently released. And this film is called I Am Michael, where James Franco plays the true character Michael Glatze, who was a homosexual, but became a christian pastor. I thought this sounded interesting, especially because of the controversial subject. Is James Franco back with another astounding performance, or does film fail to deliver anything interesting ?

Michael Glatze ( James Franco ) is living happy with his boyfriend Bennet ( Zachary Quinto ), and Michael is a hard working gay activist, writing for a gay newspaper. Life is looking great, but then Bennet is offered a job in Canada, so they decide to move to start a new life in their relationship. After an adventure with another gay man, Tyler ( Charlie Carver ), they come up with an idea to make a documentary film together, on a road trip across America. To help young people accept themselves, the way they are. But on this journey, Michael begins to wonder, if he is not living the way he wants to. That perhaps he might be looking for answers to all his questions. Is he really gay, or is there another answer to what he is feeling ?

One thing that makes the film I Am Michael different, from a number of films about homosexuals, is that this story is not about how Michael became a homosexual. So we see his transformation, as he decides to live as a christian. I can imagine this will make many christians happy, that he choosed this path. I personally can´t say anything about his choice, because he did what he felt was right. The film tries to explain his transformation, and we get a glimpse of how this happened. Can i understand why he made this transformation ? I don´t think i can, because i have never been a homosexual, so it is hard to imagine his experience. I do think that the film manage to capture a feeling, how it feels to search for answers. Although i think we could have had a much deeper story here, where we find out more about Michael´s own thoughts and struggle with himself. James Franco in the lead role is a really good choice. Even if this is not his strongest performance, i will say that he make his character feel realistic. Since the film is based on the real story, about Michael Glatze, you know this actually happened. And this make the film more interesting. This is a very controversial subject, especially since christians see homosexuality as a sin. Director Justin Kelly directed the controversial film King Cobra, about the gay porn industry. I reviewed this film last year, and I Am Michael is a film he actually directed before King Cobra. But the film did not get a release date before King Cobra, so that´s why i have seen them in different orders. I think that Justin Kelly have managed to make a simple film, that stays within the independent area, and get the message out of the story. While King Cobra showed homosexuality in another way, I Am Michael is more soft on this area and becomes more dramatic. So is there anything negative to say about the film ? It might be that some of the other characters could have been stronger, some of them does not make any impression. Also, we don´t really find out a deeper meaning of Michael´s life, and since this is a film based on his life, i think there could have been some more details attached to the story. Other than that i can´t say this film fails. I Am Michael is an interesting view from a man, who used to be homosexual, but decided to become straight instead. This is of course a controversial subject, and maybe that is good for people to discuss, what is right or wrong ? One thing is for sure, christians will love this film. Maybe some churches should show it ? Don´t bring any rainbow flags there though, that might not be the best idea.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 7 mars 2017

A Cure Of Wellness

Since i have worked over 19 years in health care, i have come across many different patients. And there is something to learn about every single patient, no matter what diagnose they have. And this is why i love my job, anything i can to do make something better in a person´s life, is very important to me. It does not have to be anything big, sometimes just the smallest details can change a person´s life. Mental health care have changed a lot. We all heard stories how people were treated at mental institutions, when doctors did not really know how to treat patients. Thankfully, as time have gone by, doctors are much more educated these days and can help mentally disturbed patients much more. Of course it is always difficult to make sure everyone will feel good, because every patient have different problems. Speaking of mental institutions, how many have seen the 1975 masterpiece film One Flew Over The Cuckoo´s Nest ? It is one of the best films ever made, about health care, and show a clear image of how it can be to live as an patient, and how they are treated. Jack Nicholson is absolutely amazing as the patient Randle McMurphy. I can´t remember how many times i have seen this film since my childhood, but i would guess around 15 times, at least. There are plenty of films to choose between, when we think about mental institutions. But one film that really hit the spot, came out in 2009. Martin Scorsese´s film Shutter Island, was not only a really well made thriller, the film also managed to capture the many sides of humans insanity. Leonardo Di Caprio was simply outstanding in the lead role. One of the things i think director Martin Scorsese managed to do with this film, is to make us understand more about patients experience. Why did they end up here, and why do they behave the way they do ? If you have not seen the film yet, i suggest you buy the blu ray, and listen to some nice special features as well. During the late summer of 2016, i read an article about director Gore Verbinski, that he was going to release a new film, that would take on the subject of mental health care. This made me very curious, because i have enjoyed some of his previous films. As i finally got to see the first trailer, i knew this might be something special. A Cure Of Wellness did not look like anything i have seen in quite some time. I decided to see the film in the cinema. Is this one of the best films from director Gore Verbinksi so far, or have he taken too much over his head, and failed to deliver a solid film ?

At a large financial service firm in New York, a man named Morris ( Craig Wroe ) dies in a heart attack. Morris is now deceased, so he is replaced by the ambitious young executive Lockhart ( Dane DeHaan ). Now, there is a problem for the financial service firm, they need a signature from the company CEO, Roland Pembroke ( Harry Groemer ). Roland is located at a "wellness center ", located in the Swiss Alps. The company ask Lockhart to travel, to make sure that Roland comes back home. If he does not give his signature, all hell breaks loose. Lockhart agree to travel. As he arrive to the " wellness center ", he meet Dr. Heinreich Volmer ( Jason Isaacs ). He is very clear, to tell Lockhart that it is up to Roland, if he wants to stay, or leave. Of course it turns out, as Lockhart meet Roland, that he wants to stay in the " wellness center ". Lockhart have no choice to leave the building, without Roland. But on the way back to his flight, his personal driver crashes the car. Lockhart wakes up in the " wellness center ", and have to be treated after the accident. He is now also a patient, but is this really a " wellness center ", or is something else going on in this enormous building ?

While watching A Cure Of Wellnes, i can instantly feel influences of two films from the past. Stanley Kubrick's last film Eyes Wide Shut, and Martin Scorseses film Shutter Island. Imagine a mix of these two films, but with a big dose of insanity, and you are in for a treat.  A Cure Of Wellness is an odd film, that is hard to explain completely. And i love to see a film, that does not include the usual clichés, and try to mix different styles matched together. The atmosphere surrounding the mysterious " wellness center ", give you a feeling that this is place would be perfect for Tila Tequila. I will try not to give away too much, because the less you know about the story, the more interesting the film becomes. One of the things we should talk about are some of the characters. The lead character Lockhart, played by Dane DeHaan, is the typical young business man, who is so digged into his work, everything else does not really matter. Dr. Heinreich Volmer ( played wonderful by legendary actor Jason Isaacs ), is without a doubt the strongest character of this film. His fake charming personality, shines right through, but what secrets is he really hiding ? The mysterious girl Hannah, played by Mia Goth, have a very interesting personality, and you really have no idea what she is hiding. The location of this enormous " wellness center ", is filmed at the Hohenzollern Castle in Germany, Bisingen. A very good choice to make this film, because the atmosphere feels perfect for the story. Director Gore Verbinski is perhaps known most from his Pirates Of The Caribbean films, and his lovely remake of Rings with Naomi Watts. I think that i personally find his latest film, A Cure Of Wellness to be his most personal film so far. It is very strange, with a complete different view on mental health care, and have some very odd scenes included. The cinematography by Bojan Bazelli looks gorgeous, and some scenes looks so fantastic, that you simply sit there smiling. One of the things i think we need to mention, is how well director Gore Verbinski have managed to capture the world of insanity, through different details. Everything from water tanks, to medical treatments ( that are supposed to heal you ). The mystery surrounding this "wellness center " could have been more mysterious, and the film is pretty long. A part from this i still feel that you should see this film in a cinema, and experience something different. Excuse me for a moment, the doctor told me it is time for treatment. I hope it does not include watching Mother´s Day with Jennifer Aniston, then i will be really depressed.

Rating: DDD

My Father Die

Hollywood is becoming more about making a profit. All the big box office block busters are supposed to get the cash, but we have seen that does not always work out. I think audiences are not always interested in the biggest movie stars, every single time they see a poster. Instead, i think a lot of people are more interested in smaller films. And you can tell while reading online, in different forums, that people love to take more chances, and see films that have a limited release. Just take the film King Cobra as an example. How many of you have seen this film ? Lovely cast such as Christian Slater, Alicia Silverstone, Molly Ringwald and James Franco, about the gay porn industry. But this is also a film about choices we make in life, a way to escape reality and hide beneath a mask. I suggest you watch King Cobra on Netflix ( avaible on Netflix in Sweden as well ). Christian Slater does one of his best performances in his acting career in this film. There are of course a lot of smaller B movie releases out there we could mention. But let´s get one more example out there. How many of you have seen The Baytown Outlaws ? The 2012 film, directed by Griffin Hood, is a fun biker action film, with some really twisted characters with lots of violence. We also have legendary actor Billy Bob Thornton here, being a bad ass. I remember giving this film a very high rating, and i still enjoy it a lot, even today. Let´s talk a little about grindhouse films. We all know what this genre is. These are the films that will make you feel good. Just take Death Proof and Planet Terror as some examples. Gory, brutal, and well made grindhouse films, from legendary directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. They also made one of the greatest action horror classics of the 90´s together, i am of course thinking about From Dusk Till Dawn. Grindhouse cinema have pleased audiences worldwide, since the early 60´s, with films that shocked people. Nudity, guns, language that would make feminists go nuts. And i am grateful that directors still keep making grindhouse films, even today. You might not see many titles out there, but the ones that show up is always nice to check out. I came across one film in this genre, while looking over VOD releases. The poster looked nice, so i might as well give this film a chance. Is this a fun ride for B movie lovers, or is My Father Die a film that no one will remember ?

Asher ( Joe Anderson ) is both deaf and mute, after being knocked out at the age of 12. His older brother was murdered. Now, Asher is ready to revenge his brother´s death, when he finds out that Ivan ( Gary Stretch ) have been released from prison. Asher goes on a rampage journey, killing anyone who stands in his way. But there is a problem with this situation, the target is also Asher´s real father. Can he kill his own father, or will it be too much to handle ?

When i first discovered My Father Die, i had no idea what the film was all about. I have not even seen a trailer. So going into this film, basically knowing nothing at all, was all worth it. This is the kind of film that makes me realise, why i am so happy to be married. You have everything you want a marriage to have. Bad language, sawed off shotgun, brutality, violence, all the wonderful things that makes love feel so good. In some ways you could say that there are influences here from Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and perhaps some slices of the 70´s classic Death Wish in here as well. There is a classic revenge story to be told, and even if this film is not original in any way, it does work. And the reason for that is thanks to director Sean Brosnan ( son of legendary actor Pierce Brosnan ). Sean´s image of this film, is to bring a mixture of grindhouse action, with some drama, while throwing in some casual country folks characters. Actor Joe Anderson, as the lead character Asher, is exactly what this film needed. A man filled with hate, destined to revenge his brother. I have to say that his performance fits right in, between all the brutality and insanity we get to experience. By the way, Joe Anderson have been in a number of great films, such as Anton Corbijn´s film Control, and the horror remake of The Crazies. We do have some other fun characters in here as well, but what keeps this film a lovely time, is all the classic ingredients thrown together. We have seen it all before, but who cares ? My Father Die still proves that you can make a film, without being original. It is all about the quality of the final product. Is there anything that could be better ? Well, there probably are some details, but i love my grindhouse B action films, so i don´t see a reason to complain. It is important to support directors who make these films, they help our next generation to learn what quality is all about. My Father Die is the directorial debut feature film of director Sean Brosnan, and if he can continue on this path, making more grindhouse films, i think we might have something special to look forward too. Oh i almost forgot to mention, i love the guitar solo, running through the film. Makes you feel like you are in the atmosphere of a typical poverty community. My Father Die is avaible on VOD, and soon on dvd. I suggest you pick up the dvd and give your wife/fiancee, or girlfriend, a real romantic surprise. Love always wins, with the help of a shotgun....of course.

Rating: DDD

fredag 3 mars 2017


For those of you, who have seen a lot of films over the years, if i mention the name M. Night Shyamalan, what would you think of first ? I am pretty sure that his film The Sixth Sense comes to mind. And for a very good reason. The Sixth Sense is still today a classic supernatural horror film, and one of the films where actor Bruce Willis did a wonderful performance, far away from his usual action genre. The Sixth Sense was unique, since we have never seen a story before, where a child can see dead people, in this particular way that the character Cole Sear ( wonderful performance by Haley Joel Osment ) did. After the great success with this film, director Shyamalan went on a very rough path. He did make some good films like Unbreakable and Signs, but somehow i think we noticed that he was trying very different ideas. My first memory of where he started to hit the wrong keys, was in the film Lady In The Water. The story, surrounding the character Cleveland Hepp ( done by legendary actor Paul Giamatti ), who discover a Naiad ( Nymth ) in the apartment complex where he lives. This is a very odd film, that did not really manage to function all the way.  Shyamalan continued his path with odd choices, especially with The Happening with Mark Wahlberg. This film actually started off good, but the ending destroyed everything. I will say that the ending in The Happening is so stupid, i have no idea why Shyamalan decided to go that way. For years to come we got films that did not really give us anything, and he hit rock bottom with the disaster sci fi action film After Earth with Will Smith. Let me say this, if you want to experience what depression feels like, then you watch After Earth. It is that kind of film no one should see, simply because it is so awful i can´t even describe what it is about. Luckily, after years of bad choices, director M. Night Shyamalan decided to go back to making smaller films, and in the 2015 film The Visit, we got ourselves a surprise. A found footage horror film, that actually turned out to be good, if you compare to many of his previous films. It seemed that Shyamalan was back on track, and then i started hearing he was going to work with actor James McAvoy on a new film called Split. This sounded interesting, because James McAvoy is a really good actor. if you have not seen him in the insane film Filth, go out and buy the blu ray. With a talented director, and a solid actor on board, is Split finally the great film we all have waited Shyamalan to make, or is this back to his forgettable work such as After Earth ?

Kevin Wendell Crumb ( James McAvoy ), a victim of childhood abuse, is diagnosed with personality disorder. It is believed that he have 23 different personalities, where one of them is called " Dennis ". Kevin´s psychiatrist Dr. Karen Fletcher ( Betty Buckley ), who exhibit psychological profiles, is concerned to find an e-mail from one of Kevin´s personalities called "Barry ", asking for a meeting. Over the years, Dr. Karen have come to the conclusion, that people like Kevin can overcome their disabilities, through moving to different personalities. But it is especially one of these personalities where Kevin is very dangerous, as the person known as " Dennis ". When he is " Dennis ", he have violent tendencies obsessive - compulsive disorder. What Dr Karen does not know, is that Kevin has kidnapped three young women, Claire Benoit ( Hayley Lu Richardson ), Marcia ( Jessica Sula ) and Casey Cooke ( Anya Taylor - Joy ). He keeps them locked up in a secret location, where his different personalities come forward on different occasions. Casey is the one who notice that Kevin have different personalities, and she tries to adjust to his behavior, but will they manage to survive if "Dennis " really loose his control ?

We might as well make one thing straight. This is not the strongest film by director M. Nigh Shyalaham. On the other hand, it is his best film since Unbreakable, so he is without a doubt on his way back to making quality films again. Split is the kind of thriller/horror film, that will be appreciated by the fans of Brian De Palmas classic 90´s film Raising Cain. Split and Raising Cain are 2 different films, but they do have one thing in common. Both the main characters have multiple personality disorder. While John Lithgow gave us a strong performance in Raising Cain, it is clear that actor James McAvoy have really worked hard on his ( characters ). To be able to play several different personalities, in different ages, and manage to show how a person who have personality disorder, is a very difficult process. But this is where James McAvoy really show us his amazing acting abilities. I would clearly say that he is the strongest advantage to the film Split, that he lifts this film on a different quality level. The story itself is something we have seen before, a very disturbed man kidnap and lock up women. The difference with this film, if we compare to some similar stories, is that the personality disorder gets more room, so we can understand more what it actually might look like. We also have a strong performance from actor Anna Taylor-Joy. You might have seen her in films like The Witch, Morgan or critically acclaimed Barry. Her character Casey Cooke is a strong woman, and also one of the reasons why Split becomes interesting from a psychological perspective. When we found out, the different people that James McAvoy character Kevin have hidden within himself, it becomes chillingly creepy. Just imagine listening to 23 different personalities through one human body, very strange and bizarre. Director M. Night Shyamalan have managed to make a very interesting look, into a disturbing mind of so many different personalities. Since he have made some terrible films in the past, and finally got back on his feet with The Visit, we can clearly see that Split shows his potential as a great director. He manage to build up tensions, between the victims, and the clearly disturbed man Kevin. I will also say that Split manage to lift up some interesting characters, through the personality disorder of Kevin. If you appreciate psychological thrillers, that digs deep into the mind of disturbed humans, then you will enjoy Split. Now we can clearly say welcome back to Shyamalan, with Split he proves that he found his way to the right path.

Rating: DDD