onsdag 30 maj 2018

American Psycho 2 : All American Girl

Time flies by so fast. If you were to look back almost 20 years from now, i have so many memories from the year of 2000. First of all, i was a huge Limp Bizkit fan during the 90´s, especially in 1999 and 2000 when they released their third album Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water. I played this CD all the time, everyday, no matter where i went. I also remember some other important details about the year 2000. This was the year when legendary director Paul Verhoeven released his film Hollow Man, inspired by H.G Wells novel The Invisible Man. Actor Kevin Bacon in the lead role as the mad scientist Sebastian Cain was a great choice for this character, but i also think actor Elisabeth Shue also did a good job with her character Linda McCay. What made Hollow Man a good horror film, was the fact that director Paul Verhoeven managed to mix influences with The Invisible Man, into scientific experiments on animals. I also feel that Hollow Man gave us an interesting perspective, what humans can do with technology that goes wrong. If you have not seen Hollow Man, pick up the Blu Ray release and i guarantee it will work on a summer evening with popcorn included. The year 2000 did have a number of great films that came out. But there was one film that really made the year 2000 very special. A very brutal portrait of a serial killer, in the fascinating film American Psycho by director Mary Harron. Lead actor Christian Bale really made one of his best performances ever on screen, as the serial killer Patrick Bateman. American Psycho is a cult classic film, that will live on forever. This was not an ordinary serial killer film, this film had so much more to offer. An amazing cast, a really beautiful, and disturbing cinematography by Andrzej Sekula. Director Mary Harron managed to make a very unique portrait on a serial killer, in a completely different way than before. There are more things that made this film so good, the dialogue worked very well, and the editing is also very professional. American Psycho turned out to be loved worldwide by all ages, and the film made a strong impact on many film critic. I actually bought the Region 1 DVD from America, many years ago. I wanted to make sure i got the film with special features that was not included in the Scandinavian DVD release. 2 years later a sequel was released called American Psycho 2: All American Girl on DVD. I did not see the film at that time, because i got some bad vibes from other peoples opinions about this sequel. But now i decided to watch this film, since i know i will do a 20th Anniversary movie review of American Psycho in 2020. Is this sequel to a cult classic better than expected, or is this even worse than i suspected ?

Student Rachel Newman ( Mila Kunis ) have a big appetite for murder. Ever since she was a small girl, she found herself fascinated about the power to take someones life. And now she is continuing her search for new victims, while studying in school. Her goal is to become the new assistant of Professor Starkman ( William Shatner ). Rachel is determined to reach her goal, and no one will stand in her way. 

I already had a feeling American Psycho 2 was going to be bad. And after watching this film, i can tell you right now, this is a sequel that never should have been made. In fact, this film is an insult to the original film. Now, i know that American Psycho 2 was not even meant to be a sequel from the beginning, but of course they chose to do one anyway. If you have seen the original film, you remember how well made the film is, and how amazing actor Christian Bale is in the lead role. In this sequel, you have a very young Mila Kunis in the lead role that does not feel connected to the first film at all. They do try and explain some kind of connection, but it makes absolutely no sense at all. So what do we get instead ? A college thriller with nothing to offer. We get some murder scenes, some dramatic moments where student Rachel ( played by actor Mila Kunis ), murder anyone who gets in her way, to achieve her goal. The thing is that Mila Kunis have proved herself to be a good actor, but during this time period she seemed to make some bad choices. And i guarantee, that you won´t enjoy her performance in this film. You can´t really connect with her character, and you don´t really care what will happen to her. I am most surprised to see legendary actor William Shatner in this film as Professor Starkman. If i had to choose one character who at least give some kind of performance, actor William Shatner at least tries to do something with the badly written script. The first film had some really brutal murders, and this sequel does not even try to make any effort to make the killing scenes frightening. The plot in this film is so simple, it could not have been hard writing a script. You can basically figure out what will happen later on, and this is a bad sign. Another thing that feels wrong with this film, is why you would make a sequel set on college ? It makes no sense at all, if you think about the first film. So is there anything good at all about American Psycho 2 ? I tried finding something positive, other than actor William Shatner, but had a hard time finding anything else. And for that i have no other option, then to say that you should stay away from this film. If you love the original film, this sequel will make you upset. That is the way i felt watching this sequel. There is a reason why you never make a sequel to an excellent film, and American Psycho 2 proves why it is a big mistake.

Rating: D

tisdag 29 maj 2018


Documentary film makers are really interesting. They have so many ideas, on what story they want to tell. No matter if the documentary film takes on political issues, or biographical portraits, you can find many different ways to tell an interesting story. There are a lot of really good documentary directors out there, and one of my personal favourite documentary film makers is known as Stanley Nelson. I love his 2006 documentary film Jonestown : The Life And Death Of Peoples Temple. This film is not only interesting from a historical point of view, but also very emotional. The story is based on the Jonestown massacre, where preacher Jim Jones murdered a whole colony of followers through poison drinks back in 1976. The story shocked people worldwide, and left many families devastated to loose their loved ones. The documentary film Jonestown : The Life And Death Of Peoples Temple gives you a very personal look, both inside the cult, but also who Jim Jones was. The interviews with surviving members, gives this film a very emotional tone. if you have not seen this excellent documentary film, you should watch it on Youtube. I also love the documentary films of film maker Michael Moore, and he have done plenty of good documentary films. My personal favourite from documentary director Michael Moore, is without a doubt his film Farenheit 9/11. He really gave us interesting details on how former president George W. Bush handled the September 11th attacks back in 2001 on the World Trade Center. This film does not only give a different approach on what happened during this awful day, but also what happened before September 11 and if there is another side of the story to everything. I strongly suggest you watch Farenheit 9/11 and make up your own mind. I love the category of psychological thrillers, especially if the film showing turns out to be good. But this is not an easy combination, since you have to be able to tell a story effective that will make the audience connect. One good example where this goes well, is to mention legendary director Martin Scorseses film Shutter Island. A really good psychological thriller, with a wonderful cast. I recently got a chance to see a film i have never heard of before, a psychological thriller called Tilt. A film about a documentary film maker, who clearly seems to have personal problems. The trailer looked interesting, so i decided to give Tilt a chance. Do we have a thriller made for the summer audience, or should this thriller be buried under the sand of tourists ?

Joseph Burns ( Joseph Cross ) is an unemployed documentary film maker, who wants to finish his documentary film. This is his biggest passion, and he wants to find a distributor to help him get the film out there. But with very little money, and he is soon to become a father, Joseph have a much bigger responsibility to think about. His wife Kendra ( Jessy Hodges ) is really looking forward to their child, and is preparing herself for motherhood. However, it becomes clear that something is not right with Josef. It is like he have a different personality within himself, a much darker and angry personality. His documentary film still needs to be finished, and as Joseph digs deeper into work, and not finding a job, his world is falling apart. Can he find a way out, or is this the next step into insanity ?

Tilt is a psychological thriller drama that takes time to get into. There are a lot of dialogue scenes, and in the first 30 minutes of the film you get to understand the main characters. And the film change direction for a bit after those 30 minutes, when we get to see lead character Joseph Burns having problems with his mental health. You can tell that there is a ticking bomb inside of him, that will go off when he encounter something he sees as a problem. He wants to kill, but can he stop himself from doing so? Lead actor Joseph Cross, ( who have been in a number of good films such as Lincoln, and Milk ), give us a performance that manage to capture a man in desperate need of help for his mental illness. To act out this on screen is not easy, but i think Joseph Cross manage to do so in a realistic way. Actor Jesse Hodges ( who have been seen in TV comedy series such as Hindsight ) also give a solid performance, as Joseph´s pregnant girlfriend Kendra. The film focuses on their relationship, and how they try to handle the situation of soon becoming parents. In my personal opinion, the film becomes more interesting when you see Joseph begin to fade away, into his own world. Will he eventually be able to stop his behavior, or is he digging himself deeper into a darkness with no exit ? This is where Tilt works best, on a psychological level, and how a persona with mental issues can change personalities. This film does feel a bit too much drawn out in some scenes, as if they decided to fill in with more dialogue instead of focusing on Josephs transformation. If the film would have focused more on that part, i have a feeling Tilt would have been even more interesting. Director Kasra Farahani have worked as an concept artist on many films, such as Spider-Man 3, Hancock and The Wolfman. He directed his first directorial debut film back in 2016 with the thriller film The Good Neighbor. I have not seen this film, but i can tell you that director Kasra Farahani have managed to make Tilt into a psychological film that works. If he would have skipped some of the long dialogue scenes, and given us a deeper look inside Josephs journey with his mental problems, we would probably have a much stronger film. Still, i have to say, Tilt is still an interesting look inside a disturbed man, who is not ready to be a father. If you dont like slow films, Tilt is not in your taste. But if you have patience and let this film grow for a while, you might actually find this film appealing. 

Rating: DDD

tisdag 22 maj 2018

Sun Dogs

There are some movies that stands out from the typical Hollywood pattern. These movies mix in all kinds of genres, and dare to do something different. And this is the kinds of films that makes me interested, because they don´t care about what they should be doing. One perfect example of this is the 2009 film Gentlemen Broncos, from director Jared Hess. Now, this may not be a classic, like his film Napoleon Dynamite, but i have to say Gentlemen Broncos is a really entertaining film. It is an odd story about a sci fi writer named Benjamin Purvis ( played by actor Michael Angarano ), who gets his novel stolen by famous author Dr. Ronald Chevalier ( played by actor Jemaine Clement ). In my personal opinion, Gentlemen Broncos was one of the funniest films released in the year 2009, and is still today a very funny film. This film is a crazy mix of sci fi and comedy, with some really interesting odd characters. This is a film you must own on DVD or Blu Ray, and i guarantee you will enjoy this film if you are in the right mood. Speaking of actor Michael Angarano, let´s talk about his acting career a bit. He have made a lot of films over the years, and i think you will probably remember him mostly from the Jackie Chan / Jet Li film known as The Forbidden Kingdom. He did a great performance in the Kevin Smith film Red State from 2010, a film i highly recommend that you should see. A very different film from legendary director / actor Kevin Smith. I also want to mention that i enjoyed actor Michael Angarano in the film Wild Card with action star Jason Statham. What makes Wild Card interesting, is that this is not the typical Statham film, and i liked the premise surrounding the story of gambling, while dealing with personal issues. I am always curious to see the upcoming films of Angarano, since he seems to choose very different types of characters. And not that long ago, i discovered that he have released a new film called Sun Dogs. A film i knew nothing about, and this is why i was curious to check it out. I noticed that this film is directed by Jennifer Morrison, who fans of TV series Once Upon A Time recognize her as the character Emma Swan. She have been an actor for almost 20 years, and with Sun Dogs she steps into the director chair, making her first full feature directorial debut film. Is this a film that should be seen by a large audience, or a film that is doomed to be forgotten ?

Ned Chipley ( Michael Angarano ) is a young man, training to join the Marine Corps. His parents Rose Chipley ( Allison Janney ) and Bob Garrity ( Ed O´Neill ) know that Ned is taking this Marine Corps training too serious, but let him follow his dreams. Ned visits an office for the Marine Corps, where he hopes to join. He is specifically excited to meet a certain Sergeant, but finds out he is no longer in this office. Instead he gets to meet Master Sgt. Jenkins ( Xzibit ), who listens to his stories. Ned believe he can help the Marine Corps to fight terrorism. At first Sgt Jenkins have a positive view on Ned, but he realise soon that Ned have mental problems. But this does not stop Ned, he meets a young woman named Tally Petersen ( Melissa Benoist ) who belive that Ned have actually been figthing in a war, and is spying on real terrorists. The more time they spend together, Tally is about to find out the real truth behind Ned´s life.

If i would try and explain what kind of film Sun Dogs is, i could probably not tell you in a simple way. This film is odd, in the sense that you have a man who is addicted to join the Marine Corps, even if he have no education or the right training. So he lives in his own imaginary world, thinking he is helping America by spying on terrorists. The idea itself is actually a great concept for a film, and Sun Dogs manage to make the main character fit this story. Is he crazy ? Yes, he clearly have a mental problem. And the film tries to show how bad things can become, if a person with mental problems act outside of laws. In one way, this film have some charming moments, and then you have the other story of the mentally ill patient behavior. I believe that people who work in health care, can have an advantage with this film, especially if you work with people who have mental problems. Lead actor Jemaine Clement does a great performance as the over hyped Marine Corps dreamer Ned Chipley. All he can think of is helping the Marine Corps, anything else does not matter. I also enjoy the performance of legendary actor Ed O´Neil, playin Ned´s father Bob. I have always loved seeing Ed O'Neil, ever since the classic TV comedy series Married With Children, and he is still great in this film. I am surprised to see how good actor Alvin " Xzibit "Joiner is in the role as Master Sgt. Jenkins. He actually does this role in a much more serious tone, than i have ever seen him do before. So well done Xzibit, keep this up and i know you will give us something special in the future. Actor Melissa Benoist also gives a good performance, as the young adventurous woman Tally. What makes Sun Dogs work, is the combination of comedy and serious drama. Since the film focuses on how obsessed you can be about something you love, it is easy to see why there are many patients worldwide who would need help. Director Jennifer Morrison have made her first directorial debut film into a unique story. And she clearly seemed to know how to handle this film in a effective way, without using too many cliches. Is there anything missing here ? There probably is, but i must say that i´m not bothered by that. I enjoy this film for trying to give us a unique lead character, with a story that has a lot to say about our dreams and visions. If you happen to get a rainy summer day, why not watch Sun Dogs ? This is a film that will be enjoyed by those, who especially enjoy smaller quality films.

Rating: DDD

lördag 19 maj 2018

The Last Movie Star

There was a time during the 70´s and 80´s, when legendary actor Burt Reynolds was one of the most beloved actors during that time. With his legendary performances from Deliverance, Smokey And The Bandit and Cannonball Run. Of course Burt continued making a lot of other great films, and you could tell that he knew how to bring cinema magic to the screen. There are plenty of classics to choose between, but let´s talk about one film called Sharkey´s Machine, released in 1981. A film that he actually directed, and was the lead character known as Tom Sharky. A film where Burt shines as the narcotics sergeant who tries to clean up the streets. The plot may not have been very original, but the film is entertaining as a cop thriller. If you enjoy Burt Reynolds classics, and have not seen Sharkey´s Machine, you should pick up the Blu Ray release. Moving on into the late 80´s, we have another action classic known as Malone. A very simple action film, but worked thanks to Burt´s screen presence. There is a Blu Ray release of this film as well, and a film worth checking out. One thing you can see in his movie career, is that he released a lot of films that were box office flops. Why ? Hard to say, maybe the audience just did not match with his releases. But after a hard time, Burt finally got the respect he deserved in the 1997 film Boogie Nights from director Paul Thomas Anderson. Here Burt played a porn star director Jack Horner, who wants Eddie Adams ( Mark Wahlberg ) to be in his films, having a large package. Boogie Nights is a really good film, and a 90´s classic, showing the world of pornography in the 70´s. Really good cast, and a very well made film. A must own on Blu Ray. As the 90´s ended, Burt continued working in different film projects, and one of the films i remember most is the comedy The Dukes Of Hazzard, released in 2005. A film based on the popular TV series from the 70´s and 80´s. The cast of Johnny Knoxville, Sean William Scott and Jessica Simpson, also made their effort to make this film enjoyable. Early this year i was reading articles online about a film called The Last Movie Star, where Burt basically plays a former Hollywood star, who is no longer recognized as he was in his glorious days. I found this very interesting, that he would do a film like this. With a great looking cast, and a director who made some fun films back in the 90´s, is The Last Movie Star guaranteed to be a good time, or is this film a step in a completely wrong direction ?

Vic Berger ( Burt Reynolds ) had it all. He was a famous Hollywood movie star, with fast cars, plenty of women and living a luxary life. In present day, he is now an old man thinking back on his former lifestyle. Life is no longer what it used to be. He is invited to a small film festival, run by Vic Berger fan Doug McDougal ( Clark Durke ). He have arranged legend Vic Berger his own driver, Doug´s sister Lil McDougal ( Ariel Winter ) to the festival, something she does not really want to do. As Vic is picked up at the airport, he see that this is no real big festival. This is a fan film festival, and this is a big disappointment to him. He leaves, gets drunk and care more about leaving instead. But Vic have an idea, that Lil can drive him on a memory lane. To Lil this sounds like an awful idea, but they eventually agree on going. Doug is nervous, because the Vic Berger award is planned to be given to him, but Vic have decided to leave. The festival visitors are worried, if Vic will every show up, after leaving in a rude way ?

There is no doubt that The Last Movie Star is entertaining. In some ways it feels like we are witnessing the career of Burt Reynolds here, even though he plays another character. The journey to see him show up at a smaller film festival, is both fun, and a wake up call as well. It is very difficult to be on the top of the world forever. And this film clearly shows the positive sides of show business, and what happens when the lights go off. The character Vic Berger clearly miss the good old says, when he was a Hollywood legend. To be honest, this is one of the best acting performances that i have seen Burt Reynolds do in many years. He really goes into his character, and try and show how tough life can be when the glorious Hollywood life style is gone. I also think Burt shows his comedy side as well in this film, he knows how to be funny. And the story is also charming along the way, to show how an old man and a young woman are forced to get along, during their road journey. One of the characters i also enjoy in this film, is the young woman Lil, played by actor Ariel Winter. She is loud, very confused, and she also manage to be funny in some scenes. I also enjoy the cameo by legendary actor Chevy Chase in this film as well, he also does a good job. The Last Movie Star is a film with a lot of things to say, most of all the film clearly wants to say, make sure to live life before it all ends. Director Adam Rifkin ( who directed the 1994 classic The Chase ), have given us a special film, and i have to say he really have done a good job, trying to tell a charming story. Just the idea around this film, is why it works. To tell a story about a former Hollywood star could have been boring, or very predictable. But director Adam Rifkin focus on telling the story from another perspective, where we see a man trying to deal with his health issues and personal problems. There are a few slow scenes, where we get a lot of dialogue. But that´s ok, the film manage to go on anyway and feel charming. The Last Movie Star is a film you should see, not just because of the performance of Burt Reynolds, but also because the film will make you realise to appreciate life. You will find this film on VOD, DVD or Blu Ray, and i guarantee that you will enjoy yourself. Sometimes, smaller films have much more to say than massive box office hits, and The Last Movie Star clearly shows the right path.

Rating: DDD

lördag 12 maj 2018

In The End Of May, Let´s Dig Into American Psycho 2

Cheers everyone worldwide !

It is Daniel here, the greatest movie review critic in Sweden. Is that true ? Of course it is, just ask Martin Timell. Anyway, as you may have read earlier in my blog, in the end of February, i was going to do a review of American Psycho 2, because i have heard it is so bad that you have to avoid it. 

And for those who know me personally, knows i love films that are ripped apart, simply because they are beyond horrible. I actually got myself a DVD online for a good price on the film, perhaps no one wants to own a copy, and that is a really good sign to me. Since i love the first film, i am not expecting this sequel to be anywhere near as good as the original film. However, i must say i am curious to see if i need psychiatric help after this experience. There is a possibility, and i am willing to take that chance.

So in the end of May, i am ready to torture myself with American Psycho 2 with a special review, since i know you have waited so long to read this. So before i post this review of this film, i have a couple of reviews left to post. But don´t worry, it is just a couple of weeks left, so be patient and think about what is coming soon to a mobile screen near you. 

Have a fantastic weekend, and remember kids, vote for Moldava at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 this saturday.

Cheers from Daniel !

fredag 11 maj 2018

A Quiet Place

We all have some kind of handicap. Some have more than others, but it does not really matters. What really matters is that we adjust, and live life instead. Of course some handicaps are a bit more complicated to live with. But with the right help, you can fix almost anything. If you are blind, you have many options to choose between. If you are deaf, you also have plenty of ways to get help. Scientists and doctors are of course working worldwide to improve health care, to help humans in many different ways. And i would not be surprised, that in 25 years forward from now, they might have found new medical ways to make body parts function ever better than expected. You never know what could happen, but i am excited to see how the future is developing many opportunities. In the cinema world, there are plenty of films that takes on the subject of handicapped people. One specific film that i feel is a great example, is the Spanish horror film Julia´s Eyes. Released in 2010 by director Guillem Morales, this is a great horror film, about a woman who have a disease that will make her blind. Her sister killed herself being blind, and now she is about to face the same destiny. But there seems to be something behind the suicide of her sister, as she digs into the truth. Julia´s Eyes is a film you should see, especially if you love Spanish horror films. Another horror film about handicapped, is of course George A. Romero´s film Monkey Shines. A film i feel is not mentioned very often, but deserve attention. An interesting premise, about a man in a drive motors wheelchair, who is offered help at home with a trained monkey to assist him. Of course, things does not go as planned. There is a great Blu Ray release of Monkey Shines from the company Scream Factory with special features, i suggest you pick it up. Early this year i read about a new horror film called A Quiet Place, that seemed to be interesting. Especially when i understood a deaf girl is included in the story, in a film where no one is allowed to talk or make noises. While picking out what to choose for my next cinema visit, i got a chance to see this film on screen. Do we finally have a good start for horror films in this spring, or is this another cash in product, just to make money and not give anything back ?

Over three months in 2020, most of Earth´s human population have been wiped out by sightless creatures, who attacks anything they hear. They are very sensitive to sounds. The Abbott Family, including Evelyn Abbott ( Emily Blunt ), Lee Abbott ( John Kranski ), congenitally deaf daughter Reagan Abbott ( Millicent Simmonds ), brothers Marcus Abbott ( Noah Jupe ) and Beau Abbott ( Cade Woodward ) are survivors, looking for supplies. 4 year old Beau is drawn to a robot toy, that runs on batteries. Lee does not allow his son to take the robot with him, since it could make noises and they might be discovered from the monsters. As they are leaving, Reagan feel sorry for Beau and let him bring the robot with them. While crossing near a bridge, Beau start the robot and is killed by monsters. The family is torn into pieces, loosing their child. A year later, the family is still struggling with the lost of Beau, as they try and survive in their house. But there is a problem, Evelyn is pregnant and will give birth to a child, and if the monsters hear this, they could all be killed. The family have survived so far, but how long will they keep themselves safe, when a new family member arrives ?

I had a feeling that A Quiet Place could be good, but i did not expect that it would be one of the best horror films of 2018, so far. And this is really something i am happy to say, that we do have a quality horror film in cinemas. That does not happen very often, especially a horror film that tries to mix different styles together and do it so well. I think the reason why A Quiet Place manage to deliver such a strong impact, is because of the story. To have a horror film with almost no dialogue, could be very hard to get away with. But this film is very intelligent, and it shows how much potential you can do with the right settings of tools. Just imagine, you can´t speak or make any noise. If you do, the creepy monsters will take you. It may not sound very good while you are reading this review, but once you watch the film i guarantee you will have a great time. This is the kind of horror film that does not try and follow the usual Hollywood block busters, it feels much more constructed in a very dark way. The story may be very simple, but this is good, because it makes the impact of the film feel much more vulnerable. To see a family struggling to survive, with a new baby coming, gives this film a deep emotional tone. The acting in this film is really good. The mother Evelyn Abbott, played really effective by actor Emily Blunt ( who did a fantastic performance in the movie Sicario ), is a character we all can relate to. She cares about everyone, and want to make sure that her family is safe. The father Lee Abbott, played by actor John Krasinski ( who you probably have seen in Matt Damon´s film Promised Land, where John is actually a producer and writer of that film as well ), gives a solid performance as a father who tries to survive, and make sure his family have all they need. One character i really love in this film is the character Reagan Abbott, played really well by teenage actor Millicent Simmonds. Her character who is deaf and use American sign language, is in my opinion the most interesting character in this film. The CGI of the monsters works really well, and the look of them is also filled with creepy details. Director John Krasinski clearly knows exactly what the horror audience wants, and he digs deep with this story, to make sure we are all affected by this very complicated situation around the world. I am really surprised how he managed to make this horror film so effective without almost any dialogue, but this proves that you can do it if you know how to build suspense. If you are a horror fan, you have to run and see A Quiet Place in cinemas. I guarantee you will enjoy it as much as i did. 

Rating: DDDD

torsdag 10 maj 2018

Apartment 212

Moving to a new apartment can be both fun, and painful. All the things you have to get in order, but once it is done of course you are soon back on track. I remember my first apartment, that i got back in January of 2001. It was not big, but perfect for me, since i was single at the time. We used to gather friends at my home and have movie nights, make some food, and talk about movies. I remember my book shelves were filled with VHS films, and CD albums. I ever had the background of my book shelves covered with flag posters of Limp Bizkit, that i could see every morning i woke up. I stayed in this apartment, until i moved to my wife in another city. So my design of an apartment quickly changed to a more descent look, than what i used to have. But what if you have a problem with the apartment you live in, no matter if it is a bad neighbor or something else that goes on ? There are plenty of horror films, that takes on apartment issues, and i came to think about one specific film. The Japanese horror movie Dark Water from 2003, is a really good example when you move into the wrong building. A very well made horror film, about a mother and her young daughter, who moves to an apartment building where mysterious things happens. Dark Water is a horror film you should see, if you love creepy horror, and i guarantee you will enjoy the look of the cinematography as well. One of the greatest horror classics that takes place in an apartment building, is of course Roman Polanski´s masterpiece Rosemary´s Baby. A perfect example when you move in to the wrong house, and the film really managed to tell a very horrific story about a mother who is surrounded by satanists. The lead role by legendary actor Mia Farrow is a really powerful performance, and this might actually be one of her best films ever. Most of all, i think director Roman Polanski knew that the most effective way to tell a story of a pregnant mother, was to make everything look perfect from the beginning, but it all turns out to be a complete hell eventually, in the worst possible way. If you have not seen Rosemary´s Baby, pick it up on DVD or Blu Ray, this is one of those horror films you have to see. Recently i was checking out movie reviews on Geek Legion Of Doom on YouTube, and came across a film called Apartment 212. A film i did not know anything about, until i listened to the review. The concept of the film sounded interesting, so i decided to check it out on VOD. Is this monster film Apartment 212 in my taste, or is this a film we should avoid at all cost ?

Jennifer ( Peneolpe Mitchell ) is a young woman, ready to start a new life in a new apartment. She used to live with her abusive ex boyfriend Boyd ( Chris Johnson ), but she needed to get out of the relationship. In the apartment complex she just moved into, she is welcomed by frendly neighbor Terry ( Kyle Gass ), who help her any way she can. But one night, Jennifer hear a woman crying from the ventilation system. Not knowing why the woman is sad, Jennifer leaves it alone. Then the crying continues, every day. Jennifer knows something must be wrong, and confront the woman. She turns out to be killed brutally, and no one knows what happened really. One morning Jennifer wakes up, and find a wound on her, as if she was bitten by something, For each day, her body is getting more wounds, and she have no idea why this is happening to her. Was Jennifer attacked, or is there another explanation to what is happening ?

Even if Apartment 212 is a limited budget B movie, i have to say that the film comes out as a homage to the 80´s monster films. And there are certain details i really think works with Apartment 212. First off the sound effects, they feel very effective with the horror atmosphere. I also really enjoy the idea of a monster, that is hiding  and strikes just at certain moments. You really don´t get to see the monster until the end, and this is a great idea. This way we get to learn more about the character´s in the apartment facility. Two songs on the soundtrack to this film, by singer Lisa Donnelly matches great with the film´s plot. I think i am going have to check her CD out, or on Spotify of course. Even if the film use a very simple story, it is told effective, where the location of the apartment facility gives the plot a reason to develop further on. The main character Jennifer ( played by actor Penelope Mitchell ) is one of the reasons why this film manage to work. Penelope manage to make her character a great lead role, and she turns out to be tougher than we would expect. I also like the performance of actor Kyle Gass, playing her neighbor Terry. He is the kind of neighbor we all should have, friendly, helpful and always trying to be positive. I was trying to think what film Apartment 212 reminded me of, and i came to think about a B movie called Gremlin from director Ryan Bellgardt. A film i never reviewed in here, but did enjoy. But i have to say that Apartment 212 stands out even more than Gremlin, especially because of plot. The monster design is actually really creepy, and this is a very important detail in a film like this. Especially the sound the monster makes, i promise you will feel the creepy atmosphere. Director Haylor Garcia have directed 2 films in the past, and i have not seen them so far. So this is the first time i get to see his work, and i think he have done a good job. You have to have passion to 80´s homage films, and this is something director Haylor Garcia have. He uses simple methods to construct a story, how a nightmare can become even worse in your new home. The ending could probably have included a different twist, but other than that i can´t complain. Apartment 212 knows what kind of audience it wants to please, and if you love 80´s monster films, i guarantee this is a film for you. A nice DVD release for the family to enjoy together.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 8 maj 2018

I Kill Giants

When i grew up as a kid, i loved movies that were a mixture of adventure, and old school films. And i am especially thinking about one film, released in 1985. The Goonies, is a film that were a big part of my childhood in the 80´s. The story of a team of children, who go searching for One Eyes Willy´s pirate treasure, turned out to be like an Indiana Jones adventure, from a child perspective. The film had some magical scenes, that made this film one of the childhood classics of the 80´s. I also enjoyed the characters, since you could relate to at least one of them. The Goonies is still today one of those films that keep getting a wider fan base, and i think the reason for that is because the film had something special to offer all ages. There are of course other children films that did affect me back in the 80´s, like The Neverending Story from 1984. Also a film i still enjoy to watch, even if the film is nearly 34 years old. But that is what makes these films so special, even how old they get, they still bring magic to the big screen. In a more recent future, i think the children films that have been most popular, has to be Harry Potter. The films, based on the books by author J.K. Rowling, have been seen by millions of children worldwide, and is still to this day one of the most loved children films made into film adaptations. What made the Harry Potter films enjoyable to watch, was the mixture of magic and serious issues. Of course we also got to laugh sometimes, with some wacky characters and strange objects. After the Harry Potter films ended with many films, and a lot of curious fans of the world of Harry Potter would return, we got a different story released in cinemas 2016 called Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. This film, based on J.K. Rowling´s book of the same name, is a spin off from the world of Harry Potter. I really enjoyed the film, and you could feel that there were some resemblances with the world of Harry Potter. A sequel is coming out soon, so that will be fun. Since i read that director and producer Chris Columbus, would be one of the producer of a film called I Kill Giants, i was curious to see what this film would be. Turns out that this film has some fantasy, and horror influences, telling a story about an odd teenager. I was hooked up by this, and got a chance to see the film on VOD. Is this a film that everyone should see, or is I Kill Giants that had potential but lost it all along the way ?

Barbara Thorson is a young, independent teenager who lives with her brother and supportive older sister Karen Thorson ( Imogen Poots ). Barbara have created her own fantasy world, where she believes that giants will attack her and her hometown, to destroy everything. So she spends her free time, preparing to battle the giants, creating weapons, traps, and figuring out the right locations to be safe. One day, Barbara meets the new student Sophia ( Sydney Wade ) who recently moved from Leeds, England. Their friendship begins to grow. After Barbara is in trouble with a confrontation with a group of bullies at school, Barbara is ordered to see school psychologist Mrs Mollé ( Zoe Saldana ). Mrs Mollé is worried about Barbara, when she hear about her ideas to fight against dangerous giants. Barbara however knows she is right, that only she knows how to stop these giants. Is she really fighting against giants, or is she struggling to handle something else ?

Growing up as a kid, we all had own our way to deal with childhood. And this is one of the details that i think I Kill Giants do really well, telling a story from one teenager´s perspective of this world. How does it feel to be odd ? How do you deal with all the emotions you carry around ? But the film also gives us a view into a child´s imaginary world, and how we face danger and how to handle situations. You could say that I Kill Giants is a pretty unique film in some ways, because i can´t say i can compare this film to anything i have seen in a pretty long time, and that is a very good sign. This is a film that mixes fantasy with horror influences, but manage to do it in a soft way, no to scare off the young audience. I also see a story here of bullying, that becomes very clear throughout the film. I have not read the graphic novel by Ken Niimura, that this film is based on. But as a film adaptation, i have to say that the film succeeds to tell a story of how hard childhood can be. In some ways, I Kill Giants is a film that many of us can relate to, especially if you were a bully victim and know how it was being different. The lead teenage actor Madison Wolfe ( perhaps known mostly from The Conjuring 2 ), does a really good performance as the bully victim Barbara. Her thoughts, and her ideas, of how to handle life, becomes very clear that she have a lot of personal issues that is very hard for her young age to handle. I also like the performance of her best friend Sophia ( played by teenage actor Sydney Wade ). Sophia is clearly worried about her friend, and you can tell they have a special friendship, that is complicated. Nice to see actor Zoe Saldana here, and she also does a good performance as Child Psychologist Mrs. Mollé. Danish director Anders Walter prove with his full feature directorial debut film I Kill Giants, that he knows how to embrace an interesting story, and how to mix different influences together. I have not seen his short films from the past, but i feel that he is a director that have a lot of passion for this film, and you can see that while watching. I don´t see many films that handle teenage subjects nowdays, but i have to say I Kill Giants is one of the best films i have seen in a long time, that are meant to be for a young audience. Trust me, adults will guaranteed recognze themselves in this film, remembering how it was when we grew up. The film is set for a DVD and Blu Ray release soon, so you can see it on VOD for now. I suggest you do, I Kill Giants is one of the highlights of this spring, finally an original film for everyone to enjoy.

Rating: DDDD

torsdag 3 maj 2018

Deep Blue Sea 2

I confess!!!!!!!!!!
I am without a doubt one of the biggest Sharknado fans in Sweden. I collect all the films, and i can watch them over and over again, because Sharknado makes my life complete. I know a lot of people out there think Sharknado is crap. Well, let me ask you this.

Name one good film from director Colin Nutley?

No? You see, maybe Sharknado films are good after all. So in general i love to check out B movies with sharks. You have all kinds of cheesy wonderful titles to choose between, and i just love the crazy film makers out there who choose to do these films. Even if a lot of shark movies are released today, we have some classic ones that have been around for a pretty long time. I know, you might think of Jaws, but let´s not go that far back in time. Let us instead think about the year 1999, when Die Hard 2 director Renny Harlin released his action horror film Deep Blue Sea. Considering this film had a great cast, and a lot of action scenes, i really enjoyed the film during the theatrical release. I remember i bought the DVD and watched in several times. Deep Blue Sea had a fun concept of horror and action, mixed into each other in a underwater facility, and the film clearly showed that you can make a good action film with sharks included. Director Renny Harlin continued releasing ( some ) good films, like the underrated Mind Hunters, released in 2004. There is a specific reason why you should get Mind Hunters on DVD, because the concept of the film is actually fun to watch. And you have a fun cast as well that includes LL Cool J, Christian Slater and Val Kilmer, how can you say no to this ? In the end of 2017, i was going through upcoming DVD and Blu Ray releases, and i came across a title of Deep Blue Sea 2. A sequel was made almost 20 years later ? I did not expect this to happen, and i never heard before that a sequel was planned. Of course when you make a sequel so many years after the original film, you don´t know what to expect. It could be a rip off that looks exactly like the first film, or they have tried to do a different concept and still call it a sequel. Since i enjoyed the first film from director Renny Harlin, of course i had to take a look at the sequel. Siuce almost 20 years have passed since Deep Blue Sea was released, is this sequel better than we expected, or is this a sequel that should have been left on the bottom of the sea ?

Dr. Misty Calhou ( Danielle Savre ) is a shark conservationist, who have studied sharks for a very long time. Her knowledge about sharks holds very important information. Dr. Misty is invited to consult on a new, top secret project run by pharmaceutical billionaire Carl Durant ( Michael Beach ). Carl believe that the project, located at an underwater facility, is one step closer to cure human diseases, extracting shark antíbodies. Dr. Misty does not approve the way this project is being handled, doing experiments on full grown sharks. No matter how secure Carl believe this facility is, there is always a risk something unexpected could happen.

I did not have any high expectations before watching this film. And i can tell you, i am glad that my expectations were low. Because this is a sequel no one asked for, and in some ways i don´t understand why someone wanted to make a sequel, almost 20 years later. Thankfully, this is not as awful as it could have been. Let´s start with the positive. The sharks looks pretty good, and their attacks are not all bad either. The acting is not top class in any way, but the lead actor Danielle Savre as Dr. Misty Calhoun, is a great character for a film like this. She is strong, intelligent and she clearly knows why you should not do experiments on sharks. And now we get to the negative. If you think about the first film, it had a lot of intensive action scenes, this is something Deep Blue Sea 2 can´t handle well. The action scenes does not deliver on the same level as the first film, and that makes the film look pale. Another problem is that the story does not feel very interesting. I know this is a B movie, and usually a story is not the most important thing. But in this case, knowing this is a sequel to Deep Blue Sea, they could have tried a bit harder to develop a story surrounding the experiments of sharks. If the film would have been named something else, then i might have looked at this film as a stand alone film. But since this is a sequel, it is hard not to judge this film, knowing that the first film was good. I will say this, there are a couple of scenes where you at least feel that they have tried to follow some good ideas. But this is eventually lost, when we get some typical cliches. Director Darin Scott ( who have produced classic films such as The Stepfather 2 and Menace II Society ) probably had fun making this film, but he clearly missed some very big details on how to make a worthy sequel. The budget does not have to be a problem, if you know how to do things right. He does get some details right, especially the shark design. Still, without any real effective action scenes, it is hard to connect with this sequel. Deep Blue Sea 2 is not completely awful, and completely useless. The problem is that you don´t need to see it, just because this is a sequel to a classic 90´s film. You could just watch the first film and have fun, and there is a chance you will forget that a sequel exist. Take my advice directors, if you are doing a sequel, make it as good as possible, or there is no point in making a sequel.

Rating: DD