måndag 31 juli 2017


In the early 90´s, up until the late 90´s, i was actually a fan of Snoop Doggy Dogg. Looking back at how i looked like at that time, i looked like a choir boy, coming straight out of the closet at Oxford University. Wait....that came out the wrong way. Anyway, i used to do the Snoop Dogg dance, waving my arms like a drunk seagull. I think i still have some of those records left somewhere. It was around this time, i made a decision. I am going the metal way, and i did. I felt home with Slayer, Sepultura, Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, and so many others. But if there was one thing that stayed in my mind, from my hip hop era, i loved the cars that Snoop Dogg had in his videos. You know the bouncing ones, that bounced faster than Tila Tequila´s jugs. I also remember that Dr. Dre of course used them in his videos. Even if i don´t follow hip hop in these days, i do remember some of those classic Snoop albums and his music videos. Actually, i did listen to Eminem also for a while, at the top of his career. And his film 8 Mile turned out to be actually surprisingly good. Films based on hip hop subjects have been around for a long time. And there have been some films that have given us quality acting. How many of you saw the film Straight Outta Compton, based on the story of the hip hop band N.W.A. A really good film, that shows how rough it actually was in America, back in the early 90´s. I think director F. Gary Gray did a really good job, capturing the 90´s hip hop scene, with some really good acting performances from the cast. If you have not seen it, i suggest you rent it on blu ray. There are of course other great films to suggest. How many of you remember the film Hustle & Flow from director Craig Brewer ? Also a really good film, with strong acting performances, especially from actor Terrence Howard. Earlier when i mentioned the bouncing cars, i think it is pretty clear that The Fast And The Furious franchise have proved, that cars in films does still make money. Car movies have gone a long way since Smokey And The Bandit with Burt Reynolds, and there are many different car films to choose between. In spring time this year, i was hearing about a smaller film called Lowriders on the web page Dailymail. I knew nothing about the film itself, but once i saw the poster with the fancy car, i became curious. Would this be another street gang film, or something completely different ? I finally got a chance to see Lowriders, just to explore if this could be something interesting. Is this one of the biggest surprises of this year, or is Lowriders only worth to end up down into a toilet ?

Danny ( Gabriel Chavarria ) is a young street artist in East Los Angeles. His passion for graffiti is done in a bad way, and he ends up in trouble with the law. His father Miguel Alvarez ( Demián Bichir ) get his son Danny, and his friend Chuy ( Tony Revolori ) out of jail. Miguel runs his own business, building Lowrider cars. He give his son Danny a chance to work, as a real man. Meanwhile, Dannys big brother Francisco " Ghost " Alvarez ( Theo Rossi ), tries to be a bad boy, and impress everyone with his rough lifestyle. Their father Miguel is ashamed about his son Francisco, and want nothing to do with him. Danny still tries to be around his big brother, even though he is in bad company, with bad people. When Dannys father Miguel is shot down, his life is about to take a very different turn. Danny knows he have to grow up, and take responsibility of his family. But is it too late for his big brother Francisco, living the dangerous lifestyle that he is stuck inside? 

From the first moment i heard about the film Lowriders, i did not have any high expectations. Maybe because i did not know if i wanted to see the film. But after hearing some positive reactions, i thought i might as well give this film a try. And i have to say, i did not expect this film to be any good. It turns out that Lowriders does have some important things to say. This is not a hip hop film, let´s be clear about that. This film is more about family relationships, how to handle life, on the streets of rough neighborhoods. You could also this is a film, that tries to show you the passion that some mexican americans have for Lowrider cars. The best part of the film, is without a doubt the character Miguel Alvarez, performed by actor Demián Bichir. He is the most interesting character, who have lived a rough life. You can tell that the cars he make, with his team, means everything to him. And in some ways, he is more passionate in his cars, than in his 2 sons. Eva Longoria is also good as the mother Gloria Alvarez, who tries to make sure that the family sticks together, and make sure her husband Demián is focused on making good decisions. Lowriders actually reminds me of the 1993 film Blood In Blood Out in some ways. That film also had a lot of family issues, but in Lowriders it is more on a deeper level. You don´t get to see lots of violence, or shoot outs, instead this film is more focused on a different approach on mexican culture in America. I would have liked to know more, about the past of Miguel, because he seems to have been through a lot of hard times in his past. You don´t really get to know many details, and somehow i think that Lowriders would have been even more interesting if we found out more on his life. However, as the film goes on, you do get a sense that director Ricardo de Montreuil have found a tone, that works well with this culture. He capture the passion of Lowrider cars, and the people who dedicate their lives to make these cars come to life. Also a soundtrack that fits into the style of the film as well. This is not a film that probably will not fit everyone´s taste, especially if you have no interest in car culture. But, if you enjoy dramatic, and realistic films, then Lowriders might get you hooked up. I am surprised to say this, Lowriders is better than i expected.

Rating: DDD

If you can´t see Lowriders in theatres anymore, have no fear, the film is out the first week in September on VOD and dvd.

söndag 30 juli 2017

In August, get ready for the biggest movie review of this year

Listen up movie lovers worldwide!

In August i will post a review of Sharknado 5. This means that this is the review that everyone wants, including Lorenzo Lamas ( i know he have good taste ). I have reviewed the Sharknado films in the past, so of course i have to review this one as well. So get ready, for the biggest, sexiest, most beautiful movie review you have ever experienced with my review of Sharknado 5. More movie reviews are on the way, so keep your eyes open. Thank you all readers worldwide, you all rock.

Cheers from Daniel

onsdag 19 juli 2017

R.I.P George A. Romero

A true legend have left us. George A. Romero, the Godfather of zombie films, is no longer with us. 

We will always remember his iconic films, and i have so many wonderful memories, even back in the day when i first watched the 1978 film Dawn Of The Dead on VHS. Night Of The Living Dead is of course the film that started it all. This zombie film changed horror history forever, and zombies became a solid steady card through out history in horror film making, thanks to George A. Romero. One of my personal favourite Romero films, is the 1985 film Day Of The Dead. I really love the blu ray release from this film, from the video company Arrow Films. If you have not bought this blu ray from the UK, you should. It has tons of lovely extra features, and the film itself is filled with lovely gore details. In more recent years, George kept on working on different films, and his final film as a director turned out to be Survival Of The Dead.

I suggest you all should watch George A. Romero´s classic films again, and remember why no one made zombie films the way he did.


Arnold Schwarzenegger has to be one of the biggets action Hollywood stars of all time. Just look at his catalogue of films he have made, and you realise what an impact he have made within the movie industry. Looking back at his career, he have made some really good films, and some less good. We could talk forever about all the classics from Conan The Barbarian, The Terminator, True Lies or a personal favourite of mine called Predator ? Let´s not forget to mention how wonderful it has been to see him do all three Expendables films so far ( hopefully to see him return in a 4th one ). Arnold´s charismatic screen presence is one of the things i think many people love. He can get away with saying cheesy lines, he can combine bad dialogue during action scenes and make it more fun. Arnold have always followed a certain path, and of course he knows people want to see him do action films. He have tried comedies, and did pretty good with Twins. We could discuss Junior, but honestly, did many of you enjoy that one ? At least we got to see Arnold pregnant, so we did get something unique out of this film. When it comes to other genre films over the years, Arnold have hold back to try something different for a very long time. Until we found out through news, that he would be in an apocalyptic horror drama called Maggie. This was something i did not expect him to see do in his career, but i was pleased to see him try something completely different. Maggie is an interesting film, where you follow a desperate father, trying to help his infected daughter. The film, directed by Henry Hobson, gives you a different view on the zombie genre. This film is not really about zombies, it is more about how to handle very difficult situations in life. I have to say that Arnold did one of his better performances in this film, that he actually tried to act, more than usual. Sometime during spring this year, i started hearing about another more dramatic role for Arnold, in a film called Aftermath. I started doing some research, and found out that the film is actually based on true events, based on the Uberlingen mid air-collision, back in 2002. Of course i just had to see this film, to see if Arnold could manage to do another good dramatic role again after Maggie. So i finally got a chance to watch the UK blu ray release of Aftermath. Is this one of the highlights of Arnold´s career, or should he go back to action films and stay away from dramatic films ?

Roman Melnyk ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ) is a construction worker, who is excited about celebrating christmas with his pregnant daughter Nadyia ( Danielle Sherrick ) and his wife Olena. They are on flight AX 112, on their way to New York. But out of nowhere, Roman is infomed that the plane have collided with another plane, and all passengers on board AX 112 are all dead. Roman´s life is damaged forever, as he lost the two people he loves more than anything. In another angle of the story, Jacob ( Jake ) Bonanos ) is an air traffic controller, who is completely devastated about seeing the planes AX 112 and flight DH 616 collide, and there was nothing he could do. He feels guilty over this, although he did not cause these planes to collide. It is reported that 271 people lost their lives. Roman head out to the crashing site, as he tries to find any belongings to his wife, or daughter. He discover their bodies, and his daughter´s bracelet. Roman locks himself into his home, with to many thoughts in his mind. A journalist named Tessa Gorbett ( Hannah Ware ) who approach Roman at his home, as she tries to express her interest in writing a book on the accident. She leaves some articles of plane disasters, on articles she have written, to see if he would be interested to tell her his story. Because of the seriousness of the accident, Jake´s lawyer suggest that he should move to another state with his wife and children, to make sure they are safe. A year later, all the families of the victims are gathered to a newly completed memorial at the crash site. Jake have started a new life, at a travel agency. Roman have also tried to start all over, working as a carpenter. But their paths are about to be crossed, where their lives will be faced with a very serious situation.

When Arnold gave a very different performance in the horror drama Maggie, you could tell that he wanted to try another path in his long career. Maggie turned out to be an interesting film, and it was nice to see Arnie do a more dramatic role. In this film Aftermath, we also get to see a much more dramatic performance than we usually see Arnold do. I like to see big Hollywood stars take some chances, and do something that people don´t expect them to do. Aftermath may be the most serious film i have ever seen Arnold Schwarzenegger do. I personally feel that he is doing the right thing, because you can tell that he fits in a film like this. Knowing that this is based on a true story, makes the film feel more interesting. How do you deal with your life, loosing both your wife and daughter in a plane accident ? Is it possible to live with the grief, or is your life over ? Arnold actually give us a performance, where he tries to act more dramatically than he usually does. Is this his best performance ? No, but i still think he manage to do ok. Another interesting role in this film, is the role of Jake Bonanos, portrayed by actor Scoot McNairy. His guilt over not being able to help the planes on time, makes him suffer everyday. Scoot give a performance that feels natural, and not too dramatic. You don´t really see anything from the crash itself, with exceptions from a few scenes, at the crashing site. So the film is more focused on how you handle grief, and trying to deal with this horrible accident. Aftermath does have a few problems. One example is that the story is not as deep as i would have wanted it to be, through the eyes of Arnold´s character Roman. I would have wanted to see him show more anger. I also would have liked to found out more about the accident, since we don´t get to know much information throughout the film. A part from this, i can still say that Aftermath does manage to make me interested. To see Arnold do a drama film, and manage to make a good performance, is something we should be happy about. Is Aftermath a film for everyone ? No, i think this is a film, especially for Arnold fans, that wish to see him do something completely different. Director Elliott Lester is perhaps known mostly for his action film Blitz with Jason Statham. I personally think Aftermath could be his best film so far, because it was a very big risk to let Arnold do a film like this. Give this film a chance on dvd or blu ray, you might actually think it is better than you expected.

Rating: DDD

Transformers: The Last Knight

I am pretty sure that the world would not exist, if we did not have movies made by director Michael Bay. It is like he makes this world so perfect, in almost everything he does. The man who have given us action classics like Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. Michael Bay is no ordinary man. He knows what the world needs, and he knows why his films change million of peoples lives. I am pretty sure that if you would write the following words on google:- Who is the only real man on planet earth ?, you would get the answer to be:- Michael Bay. Since the 90´s, it seems that he knows what his passion is, make action films with so much action, it will make fruity boys hide in fear. Personally, my favourite film by director Michael Bay is still to this day The Rock. It is fast, loud, well made, but most of all, i really enjoy the characters of the film was well. Since then, director Michael Bay have pumped out several films over the years, and only in the action category. I seriously doubt that we will ever see Michael Bay do a completely different genre film. Because he knows, he is supposed to make action films. Every film that he have directed is of course not really good, but he did surprise me with the film The Island. A surprisingly intelligent science fiction action film, about a group of people, living in a very strict society, hoping to get to travel to a paradise called The Island. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson both did great performances, and it was nice to see legendary actor Steve Buscemi do a wacky character. But in 2007, Bay took a completely different turn, making a film, based on the cartoon characters Transformers. It was actually pretty good. Not anything unique in any way, just pure action entertainment. Of course he had to make some more sequels, so we got 3 more. Some of them are ok, but then things turned around to the wrong direction. As i did not enjoy the 4th one, as much as the earlier films, i was not very excited to hear that Michael Bay would return with a 5th film. Could he really make a good film again, after making some mistakes during the way ? As the trailer was released, i noticed that the story of the film have changed, to a much more epic scale. And i also noticed Sir Anthony Hopkins would be a part of the film. I got a chance to see the film this week in cinema with family. Is this ( final ? ) Transformers film the best sequel ever, or is this so bad you never want to see a Michael Bay film ever again ?

In 484 AD, King Arthur´s ( Liam Garrigan ) wizard Merlin ( Stanley Tucci ) forges an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers who have hidden on Earth. The Knights give Merlin an alien staff, that have great powers. In the wrong hands, this alien staff could destroy Earth. Merlin defeat the Saxons with the help of a huge mechanical dragon. In present day, most of the governments on Earth, have declared Transformers outlawed. The multinational Transformer Reaction Force ( TRF ) has been formed to destroy all robots. Optimus Prime is no longer on Earth anymore, as he keeps searching for his creator. Back on Earth, new Transformers continue to arrive. TRF discover the location of some of these Transformers in a Chicago area, as they head out to destroy them. Izabella ( Isabela Moner ), a survivor of the Battle of Chicago, manage to save 3 kids as TRF attacks. Her best friend, Transformer Canopy is killed. Inventor Cade Yager ( Mark Wahlberg ) arrives to help the kids out, including Izabelle. He can´t help another dying Transformer, stuck inside a ship. But he is given a metallic talisman to Cade. It seems that this talisman is somehow connected to the Knights of Iacon. Optimus Prime finds out, that Transformers home world " Cybertron ", is heading towards Earth. He meets the sorceress Quintessa, who claims to be maker of Transformers. She takes control over Optimus Prime, to use him against his own army of Transformers on Earth. While being attacked by both TRF and the Decepticons, Cade and the children escape the junkyard where Cade tries to help Tranformers with reperations.  Cybertron know about the metallic talisman. Cade and the gang is approached by the Transformer Cogman, who want them all to go to England. Here they will find out more about why there is a connection to the metallic talisman, and why Cade have been chosen. Sir Edmund Burton ( Anthony Hopkins ) is behind this gathering, and have also invited Viviane Wembly ( Laura Haddock ). Together they must find the alien staff, before someone else manage to find it.

When you go in to the final chapter of Transformers, directed one last time with Michael Bay, you know what you are going to get. You get a story that is made through the eyes of a young boys mind, stuck inside an adult man who wants to make adrenaline action films. Did you ever think you would see Wizard Merlin talking to a robot, while watching a great battle between knights and robots ? Well, this is Michael Bay we are talking about, so we know that he can do anything. I have to start and say that my expectations of this film was not very high. Last time i saw Transformers Age Of Extinction in a theatre, i felt that it was time to end this franchise. That film was almost 3 hours long, and had so much action scenes, your head was about to pop into a million pieces. So when we return to the world of Transformers this time, i can tell that director Michael Bay have chosen a more comedy theme, mixing it up with his usual spectacular action scenes. Some of the comedy scenes are actually pretty funny ( not all of the scenes ), but i do enjoy the scenes with British Transformer butler Cogman. His style, and comedy timing is one of the highlights of this film. I also enjoy to see Sir Anthony Hopkins as the astronomer and historian Sir Edmund Burton. His charismatic screen presence is needed in a film like this, where most characters feel very predictable. Laura Haddock is also a nice surprise as Viviane Wembly, a tough professor of English Literature. Let´s not forget Merlin, played by actor Stanley Tucci. Who would ever think to see legendary Wizard Merlin as a drunk man ? A pretty funny idea, nice to see someone dare to make an unexpected change. Mark Wahlberg is pretty much the same as last time, no big surprises there. The film itself is what you might expect, filled with massive fighting scenes between robots, and a lot of big guns. If you can bare with this, and realise that Michael Bay will never change his style ( unless he decides to do a remake of Pretty Woman, without Richard Gere ), then you might actually enjoy some popcorn fun action. Is this a intelligent film? No, but that`s the whole point with Transformers. This is supposed to be a dumb action film, made for us who just want pure action, and don´t care about flower gardens, or what curtains you should have for Easter. Transformers: The Last Knight is the kind of summer film, that will give men all the knowledge they need to understand what life is all about, and ladies want to get inside the pants of Mark Wahlberg. You also get to see plenty of robots fighting, lots of CGI, and the typical Michael Bay colorful look of his world. If you love Transformers, then you´re going to enjoy this one. Just unplug your brain cells, and let Michael Bay fill your heart with passion. 

Rating: DDD

onsdag 12 juli 2017

Wonder Woman

Marvel Studios is pumping out films based on their comic book characters every year. And i have to say, they sure knows how to make some really good films. No matter what films you enjoy most, The Avengers, Captain America, Thor, Ant-Man, there is something for every comic book fan out there. One of my personal favourite Marvel films lately, has to be Captain America : Civil War. I watched this film in a IMAX cinema, and loved the action scenes so much. Very well made film, with some really good acting as well. The best of the Captain America films, so far. While Marvel Studios have clearly proved how good they are at making films out of comic books, we also have DC Comics that have had comic book characters, made into film adaptations. DC Entertainment was involved with the film adaptation of Watchmen ( a really great action film, based on comic book characters ). They were also involved in the film adaptation of Jonah Hex ( anyone remember this film with Josh Brolin ? ) Of course, it turned out that Jonah Hex was a box office disaster. At least DC Comics got some good money through Christopher Nolan´s Batman films, and very good reviews as well. Let´s not forget Man Of Steel, where actor Henry Cavill became the new Clark Kent. I actually don´t think that this Superman film is that bad, considering the last time we saw a a really good one was Superman 2 with Christopher Reeve. I did read that Henry Cavill will return in another Superman film, so that will be interesting. When we all got the news about Suicide Squad, based on the DC Comic characters, was going to be made as a film, i actually was excited. The hype for Suicide Squad grew really big, and i actually saw the film on the premiere week ( that does not happen very often for me ). I do wish that Suicide Squad could have been better, because i liked many of the characters. It was very clear that actor Margot Robbie stole the show, as the character Harley Quinn. If you love the comic books of Suicide Squad, i think you should see the film. And you can get your own opinion, if director David Ayer did a good job bringing Suicide Squad to a film adaptation. Remember Superman V Batman: Dawn Of Justice ? This film became very controversial comic book film after the release. Some people hated the film, while some loved it. I personally felt disappointed, considering it was a really cool idea bringing both Batman and Superman fighting against each other. This is where we were introduced to Wonder Woman ( played by actor Gal Gadot ). I could tell that she was a good choice for the role. I found out later that Wonder Woman is getting her own film. As the trailer finally landed, i could tell that this could be something interesting. Could this be one of the best DC Comic films so far, or should DC Comics characters throw in the towel and let Marvel Studios make comic book film adaptations instead ?

Diana Prince is a young girl, living on the island of Themyscira. This island is the home of the Amazon race of warrior women, created by the gods of Mount Olympus to protect human kind. Diana wants to learn to become a fighter, but her mother Queen Hippolyta ( Connie Nielsen ) do not want Diana to train, so she forbids Diana to learn how to fight. However, Diana´s aunt General Antiope ( Robin Wright ) decides to help Diana train in secret. Diana´s mother Hippolyta discover that Diana is training, and is furious. But General Antiope convince Hippolyta to let her keep on training, so she can defend herself. Hippolyta finally agrees, but only if she trains Diana to become their strongest warrior. As the years pass by, in the year 1918, Diana ( Gal Gadot ) is now a young woman, who have become an outstanding warrior. One day she sees a plane crash into the ocean, as she dives in to save a pilot named Captain Steve Trevor ( Chris Pine ). It seems that withing a certain distance, is a portal to the human world where Steve comes from. But the Germans have found their way in to the portal, and head towards the island of Themyscira. The Amazon Warriors kill all the German sailors, but General Antiope sacrifices herself, jumping in front of Diana, as a bullet was meant to kill her. Captain Steve Trevor is interrogated with the Lasso Of Hestia. He reveals that " The War To End All Wars " is raging in the outside world. He is an Allied spy who stole a notebook, that contain valuable information from the Spanish chief chemist Isabel Maru ( Elena Anaya ). Isabel is attempting to engineer a deadlier form of mustard gas under the orders of General Erich Ludendorff ( Danny Huston ). Diana believe that Ares, the god of war, is responsible for this war, so she arms herself and go with Steve to London. Diana tries to warn Supreme War Council, that the Germans plans to release the deadly gas at the war front. To prevent this from happening, a group of men is gathered by Steve to stop this from happening. Sir Patrick Morgan ( David Thewlis ) helps the team with funding. Is the god of war Ares behind all of this, or could Diana be mistaken ?

I know a lot of people have been skeptical about Wonder Woman, considering DC Entertainment is involved of this film. Maybe because a lot of people had different opinions on Suicide Squad, and speculations were that fans of DC Comics was worried Wonder Woman would not get a worthy film adaptation. I am happy to say, this film adaptation is better then i expected. Not only is the main character Wonder Woman really cool on screen, the action scenes are very well made. Now, to make a character like Wonder Woman, become a strong female role model on screen, you need an actor to pull this through. And let me tell you, actor Gal Gadot fits perfect for this role. Not only does she impress us with her physical fights, she also manage to deliver quality acting. Chris Pine ( who have done some good performances in the past ), match really good in this film with Gal Gadot. The story how it all started, is put together in a very elegant way. You do get to find out about the background of the young girl Diana, before she becomes Wonder Woman. There are a couple scenes where the comedy level actually works, especially in the scenes where Diana ask Chris Pine talk about human behavior. The setting of the film, that takes place during World War I, looks really good. You can tell they tried to capture the time setting, and the costumes also seems to fit for this time in history ( except for Gal Gadot´s warrior suit of course, but this makes the film more fun to watch ). The beginning of the film on the island Themyscira, give the film a great introduction, how Diana was raised to become the strongest female Amazon warrior. Director Patty Jenkins made one of the best drama films of the year 2003, with the film Monster. Charlize Theron is simply brilliant as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, and the film really digged deep into the mind of her insanity. Wonder Woman is of course a completely different film, but it is very clear that director Patty Jenkins knows exactly how to portrait Wonder Woman on screen. We need a strong female character in today´s society, so the timing is perfect. I think Patty did the right thing, giving the main character some heavy physical action scenes. In all honesty we want to see Wonder Woman kick ass, and she does, trust me. The dialogue works well, and the cinematography also looks good. I have to mention David Thewlis as Sir Patrick Morgan. This legendary actor knows exactly how to bring a magical performance on screen. Wonder Woman is without a doubt one of the best films that is brought to us by DC Entertainment. If you love DC Comics, then you have to see this film. You have a bit of everything here, and the entertainment value is very high. I just know we will see Gal Gadot in a sequel, and i am already looking forward to see her kick ass again. Make sure to see Wonder Woman in a cinema this summer, you won´t regret buying a ticket.

Rating: DDDD

tisdag 11 juli 2017

Dark Night

Since i live in Sweden, i have a different approach on guns than many Americans. Personally, i don´t need to own a gun, or guns for self protection. If i want to make anyone go away, i just play Gene Simmons ( the tounge guy from rock band Kiss ) solo album Asshole from the year 2004. Anyone who listens to this album will be so terrified, they will leave you alone. So you see, you don´t need a gun, just play this album to make people afraid. Guns have always been a big problem in America. And every year we hear about mass shootings and murder, where guns are usually involved. I know many Americans feel they have the right to protect themselves, and carry a gun whenever they want. But does this mean you solve all problems ? Does this mean this is the best way to handle every situation ? I think we who live all over Europe have a different approach on guns, and there is a reason to that. We don´t grow up in families, where we are taught that you need to own a gun. Instead, we are taught to solve problems, in much more effective ways. Speaking about gun issues, how many of you have seen the excellent documentary film Bowling For Columbine ? The film, directed by Michael Moore, tries to dig inside the truth, behind the problems with guns in America, and how easy it is to get ammunition. Of course the film also take on The Columbine Massacre, the mass shootings at the Columbine school. It was after this film i wanted to see more films, made by director Michael Moore. He kept on making more documentary films, and i have to say that he managed to make all of them interesting. Since America have had problems with guns for many years, you can tell that it must be difficult. Many Americans want the right to carry guns, anywhere they want. But what if some people should not carry a gun ? Take the Colorado Shopping Mall Shooting as an example, that happened in 2012. James Holmes walked into a cinema and killed 12 people, and injured 70 people. I still remember watching CNN about what happened that day. When i read that a film, based on the story of the Colorado shootings in Aurora, i became curious. Could this be a very fascinating look what happened that day, or is it a typical straight to dvd release no one will remember ?

Six strangers are about to intersect at a suburban Cinemaplex. What they don´t know, is that one man is about to enter, and finish innocent lives. Who is this man, and why does he want to murder so many people ?

Dark Night is not a film that everyone would see. This is a film that takes patience to see. If you don´t have patience to watch, you might as well skip this one. Now, i like independent films in all kinds of genres. I actually prefer smaller films, because we have seen many times how a smaller budget deliver quality. Not with all releases of course, but most of them do have something to offer. When it comes to Dark Night, there is an interesting story inside the film. If only the story could have been told in a much more darker way. For the most part, we only get to know a few details about the characters, and many of the scenes feels drawn out to just fill the film´s empty spots. Don´t expect a lot of dialogue, instead we get to see different locations, and meet different people that are supposed to be connected with the story. Unfortunately, this could be one of the most boring films i have seen in quite some time. There are a few interesting scenes, but overall this film lands in a very safe spot with nothing unexpected. If you want to tell the story in an interesting way, you need to make sure that the characters feel interesting. And this is one of the problems i have with this film, i don´t really feel anything about these characters. This is the third film from director Tim Sutton, and i have not seen his previous films. It is such a shame that director Tim Sutton does not dig deeper into the awful shooting in Colorado, when one man killed a number a people in a theatre. If he could have stuck to this story, on a much deeper level, Dark Night could have been really interesting. The film only manage to make some interesting views, on what happened before the shootings. I was actually looking forward to see Dark Night, so i am really disappointed. With so strong material to use for a story in a film, we should have been offered something more than this. I will say though that i like the performance by actor Robert Jumper ( who portrait the shooter at the Shopping Mall Cinema ). He does give at least one of the better performances of this film. Dark Night is not an awful film, but have too little power to affect us. I hope director Tim Sutton still keep doing independent films, because i can tell he likes to tell stories in smaller scales. I suggest you watch Bowling For Columbine instead, and see another side of American culture.

Rating: DD

fredag 7 juli 2017

T2: Trainspotting

The 90´s. A time where i spend my youth, discovering a lot of really good British music, and also watched a lot of British VHS films. For many different reasons, i was drawn to films made in England, Ireland and Scotland, perhaps because i loved the realistic feeling of many great raw drama films. You get to see the true society, far away from the Hollywood stereotypical image. Director Ken Loach proved to be one of those directors that tried to give us realistic stories, with very important issues. One film i can still remember from early 90´s, is of course The Commitments by director Alan Parker. This is a very funny film, with some really good music, but also very realistic characters. In this film we get to follow a band on Ireland, trying to break through on the music scene. If you have not seen The Commitments, you need to see it. It is one of those 90´s classics, that will always entertain people of all ages. Speaking of the 90´s, i suggest we go in to the year of 1996. One Scottish film was about to change the world, in a very brutal and messy way, and that film is of course Trainspotting. I remember when i saw the film in Sweden for the first time. It was very different, vulgar, raw, mind blowing, and did not look like any film at that time. Trainspotting proved to be one of the most powerful films released in the 90´s, because the characters were so insane, you could not stop watching them. Director Danny Boyle proved to be one of the best British directors with this film, and i still see this film to be one of the greatest classics of the 90´s. Ewan McGregor in the lead role as Mark Renton is simply brilliant, and i just love Robert Carlyle as Francis. The story of heroin addicts insane life style is fast, rough, dirty, and looks outstanding from a cinematography perspective. I actually walked on the streets where they filmed Trainspotting in Edinburgh, and i remember how cool it was to walk on the same location. When there were discussions about making a sequel to Trainspotting, i was very skeptical. How do you make a sequel to such an incredible film, is it even possible to do one ? After many years with different twists and turns, director Danny Boyle finally decided it was time to bring back the gang from the original film, 20 years later. I was supposed to see this film in cinemas in spring time this year, but that never happened. So i got a chance to watch the UK blu ray release instead. Is this a really good sequel to the classic film, or is this a sequel that never should have been made at all ?

20 years have passed, and Mark " Rent Boy " Renton, who stole 16.000 pounds, ( Ewan McGregor ) have been living in Amsterdam with his wife. After Mark goes through a divorce, is now homeless and diagnosed with ACS, he decides to go back to Edinburgh. Daniel " Spud " Murphy ( Ewen Bremner ), is still an heroin addict who have lost his job, while his girlfriend Gail ( Shirley Henderson ) end their relationship. Simon " Sick Boy "Williamson ( Jonny Lee Miller ) is addicted to cocaine, run a pub, and also engages in blakckmail schemes with his Bulgarian dominatrix girlfriend Veronika ( Anjela Nedyalkova ). Francis " Franco " Begbie ( Robert Carlyle ) is serving a 25 years sentence and is denied parole, because of his violent temper. Mark goes back to his childhood home, where his father tells him about his mother´s death. Mark decides to go visit Spud, and finds Spud trying to kill himself. He survives, but is not happy to see Mark back in town again. But Spud change his mind, when he sees that Mark is trying to help Spud with his drug addiction. Mark also visits Simon at his bar. Simon is not happy to see Mark back again, but they eventually get along. Francis escapes from prison, to go see his son, and make sure he goes on a crime wave with his father. Mark, Simon and Veronika also have some criminal plans ahead of themselves. Is there no way out of their addictions, or will they forever be stuck in the criminal world ?

Knowing this is a sequel to an amazing classic, you have to demand a lot for this sequel to work. You need to find a connection to the first film, or at least make the film work as a worthy sequel. Trainspotting 2 does have some positive surprises to bring us. The original cast is here ( almost all of them, and that is fantastic ), and you do get to see them going insane as they did in their younger days. This sequel do continue their story in a much more deeper way than in the first film, and i think that is a good choice. They are older and can´t be the same as they were back then. Don´t worry though, there are some crazy scenes where you will recognize the style of Trainspotting, so director Danny Boyle knew he could not take too many risks. The acting is really good, and to see the cast return with more powerful performances really help Trainspotting 2 become a solid film. How do you handle society in present day, when all you know is how to be a criminal from the past ? Is it possible that you can find a normal life, or are you doomed to be an addict for the rest of your life ? Trainspotting 2 tries to get the pieces together, of how these characters can unite again and find their way in this world. Danny Doyle knows how to use the city of Edinburgh, connecting the past with present day. And with a very strong story, with very intensive acting, Trainspotting 2 manage to be a sequel that feels right on time. Ewan McGregor, Ewan Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Miller and Kelly Macdonald all manage to bring back their characters, in the right possible way. It is interesting that especially the character Spud get a lot of screen time here, he clearly is a very unstable drug addict. Ewan Bremmer really nails his performance as Spud, and his personality is not in any good condition. Usually when film makers make a sequel, they try to either follow the same path as the first film, or try a different path. Director Danny Boyle does exactly the right thing, and try to avoid the usual sequel traps. Is this film as good as the original film ? No, but i still think Trainspotting 2 is one hell of a fun ride, and matches on many levels to be a worthy sequel. It is nice to return 20 years later, and see this gang all together again, and still have a hell of a good time. Trainspotting 2 should be seen if you loved the first film, i have a feeling you will be surprised how good this sequel is. I feel like going back to Scotland again after watching this film, to get my Trainspotting vibes back on track. This is a must see on dvd, or blu ray this summer. Well done Danny Boyle, i am so happy you brought back these Scottish maniacs back to us.

Rating: DDDD

The Perfect Weapon

Swedish films have always been a part of me, that does not really match. Well, some films are ok, but very few swedish films makes me feel excited. Maybe it is because Sweden is known for being obsessed, what i like to call " The Svensson Husvagns Syndrome ". This diagnose ( that does not exists in medical papers, yet ), is basically what happens when swedes want certain movies. It is supposed to be swedish drama comedy, with jokes so flat, that you want to roll down the mountain of depression. This is what happened in 2010, when we got Änglagård 3 ( also known as ( The End Of Civilization ). This film proved my point, that if this is the best we can get, then we might as well kill ourselves. And i almost did, but thankfully i was saved by Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme with Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning on blu ray. But of course, there are swedish films that i consider to be wonderful, films that should have been seen by 7 million swedes in cinemas. Take the cult film Evil Ed ( new released by Arrow Films on blu ray in a wonderful edition ) as an example. A funny and classic splatter film, that was one of the best swedish films of the 90´s. Then you have the Easy Money ( Snabba Cash ) films, where we were given proof that swedish action films can work. It is all about how much passion you have, for making films, and making a good casting choice as well. In more revent years i have actually found some more positive surprises, especially in smaller independent films, such as Tjuvheder, directed by Peter Grönlund. One of the best swedish drama films i have ever seen, and still one of the highlights of swedish film history. It is a very brutal and sad film, but the acting is really good, and the atmosphere of the film works so well with the characters. I am happy to say that a change have at least happened with swedish films, there are new directors out there who don´t want to to traditional swedish films, and i am pleased about that. Because that is what we need more of. So on a morning show on TV4, earlier this year, they had a morning guest called Titus Paar, who is a swedish director who have made several films in Sweden. But he actually made his way to Hollywood, and this got me curious. His passion is B action films, including fantasy films. When i heard his story, i was curious. A swedish director who loves B movies, that is just perfect. So i got a chance to see his film The Perfect Weapon on dvd, a film he filmed with Steven Seagal in China. I just had to see how one of his films are. Since i know how Seagal usually is, why not see him in a science fiction action film, directed by a swedish man ? Is this the best Seagal film in over a decade, or is this another release that you might as well avoid at all cost ?

In the year of 2045, America have turned into a controlled state, where dictator The Director ( Steven Seagal ) is in control of everything. All enemies of the state will be assassinated, by the best professional assassins. The most effective assassin of them all, Condor ( Johnny Messner ). But when he fails a mission, to kill an opposition leader, the state makes sure that he has to be killed. Now, everyone that used to be on Condor´s side, is out to get him. Somehow, Condor has to find a way to survive, and finish the biggest threat The Director.

Knowing that this film is directed by a B movie lover from Sweden, does of course affect my view on this film. Because if there is something we need in Sweden, it is young directors making B action movies. We used to have a icon known as Mats Helge Olsson, who directed a number of B action classic films, such as The Ninja Mission. But i think we need a new B movie king from Sweden, and if Titus Paar decides to make more B movies like The Perfect Weapon, we could be waiting for something tasty. From the beginning, i is very clear what The Perfect Weapon is, a science fiction action film, made to fans of classic B movie ingredients. So is this any good ? I would say that The Perfect Weapon is a film that will most likely be appreciated by fans of straight to dvd action releases. And if you can accept that, then this could be something in your taste. My personal view on this film is very mixed. You see, since this is a film with Steven Seagal is in the cast, you know he is going to be acting really bad. And he still does. But this film is actually much more fun to watch than many of his dvd releases, because the story is really strange. You have a hitman story, mixed with a futuristic look, and martial arts fighting scenes that comes out of nowhere. So this is without a doubt a typical action 90´s mix, made to make men in my age ( almost 40 years old ), remember the violence VHS days. I will say this, even if this film makes no sense at all, you do get to laugh. Because some of the action scenes are so bad it becomes entertaining ( for a while ). The biggest problem for me is that the film tries to be too cool, and that does not work. The characters are not anything you care about, so it all comes down to the action scenes. As long as the characters shoot each other, or fight, we get at least some kind of B movie entertainment. A part from this, The Perfect Weapon is not a film that you will remember. If director Titus Paar really wanted to make a futuristic action, that would be remembered, i think he could have done a lot of improvements. With stronger characters, and more well made action scenes, this could have been a fun ride. As the film stands now, it is just a straight to dvd action film with some funny cheesy action scenes. It is nice to see actor Richard Tyson here, probably known best for his evil character in Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Schwarzenegger. His character in The Perfect Weapon is one of the few people you would like to see more of. Steven Seagal acts like he always does, speaking to himself in a mirror, where only he exists. The best character in this film, is The Doctor, played by actor Kevin J. McGrath. He looks stone cold, and deliver the best cheesy dialogue. Maybe swedish director Titus Paar will make a film one day that might actually make a difference for swedish film directors. The Perfect Weapon does not prove his ability yet, but i know he will return with something better than this. Hopefully it will include ninjas, cyborgs, and swedish IKEA workers, infected by a zombie virus. I might actually have the best idea for the best swedish film ever here.

Rating: DD

You can find the scandinavian dvd and blu ray release of The Perfect Weapon down below, on this link to Studio S Entertainment.