måndag 24 februari 2020

25 Years Anniversary Review Of Die Hard With A Vengeance

Let´s go back in time, 25 years ago to be exact. We are talking about the year of 1995, when i was 18 years old. There are several things i remember about this year, and especially in the music industry as well as film releases. We might as well begin with one music album released this year, and in 1995 English heavy metal band Iron Maiden released their album The X Factor. Since their former frontman Bruce Dickinson was no longer in the band, new singer Blaze Bayley took over the microphone. I know that a lot of Iron Maiden fans feel very divided about this album, and i would not call this album one of the better releases of the band. But i will say that Blaze gave the band a darker approach. In some ways, i can see why The X Factor was the right time for Iron Maiden to make a musical change in 1995, and the album does go in a different direction than their previous album releases ( while you recognize their music style from the past ). If you have not heard the album, it is worth checking out to see how Iron Maiden developed in the 90´s. The year of 1995 had some really good films released this year. There are several titles in my mind, but i decided to pick out one title that a lot of you have probably seen. And that is of course the post-apocalyptic action film Waterworld. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, this film tells the story of The Mariner ( played by legendary actor Kevin Costner ) a lone drifter who tries to trade dirt, a rare commodity, for other supplies. The Mariner helps protect the young girl Enola ( played by actress Tina Majorino ) from the pirates known as Smokers, led by their leader Deacon ( played by legendary actor Dennis Hopper ).Waterworld is a really entertaining 90´s action film, that is not supposed to be taken seriously. This is an action film that really is the ocean version of Australian classic Mad Max. Since we are talking about 1995, i felt that we needed to celebrate 25 years of Die Hard With A Vengeance. The third film in the Die Hard franchise was released this spring 25 years ago, so i decided to review this film and take a look at it again to see if i still enjoyed it. Is it possible Die Hard 3 is still a good time, or has this film aged more than i thought ?

In New York City, the Bonwitt Teller department store is destroyed by a bomb during the morning commute. The New York City Police Department gets a call from a man who calls himself " Simon " claiming responsibility. Simon threatens to detonate another bomb unless suspended police officer Lieutenant John McClane is dropped in Harlem, wearing only his underwear and a sandwich board that says " I Hate Niggers " written on it. McClane does what Saimon says and is in big trouble, but  shop owner Zeus Carver ( Samuel L. Jackson ) saves him from a group of black men. Simon ( Jeremy Irons ) threaten to blow up more buildings, and demand that both McClane and Carver do what he says or more innocent people will be killed. McClane and Zeus are about to have a very bad day in New York City.

If you are expecting this film to be as good as the first Die Hard film, then you might be disappointed. But if you are a fan of Bruce Willis and enjoy the previous Die Hard films, then you have to see Die Hard With A Vengeance. This is the sequel that took a different turn than the previous films, and used the whole city of New York as a playground. This is actually a very good idea, since this brings a fresh wind into the Die Hard franshise. In some ways, this film is like a cat and mouse game, where you see Detective John McClaine forced to play along or innocent people will die. Bruce Willis delivers his drunk character John once again, in the way that only he can do. He does not like following rules, or listen to other people´s opinions, and this is exactly the way we want John McClaine to be. The biggest surprise of this film is to see actor Samuel L. Jackson as the character Zeus become the helping hand for John. And the chemistry between Samuel and Bruce is actually one of the reasons why this film is so entertaining. They are completely different people, stuck in very complicated situations. The comedy timing between these two characters also feels successfull, since we do get some good laughs along the way. The main bad guy Simon Gruber ( played by legendary actor Jeremy Irons ) is actually a great choice for this sequel. Knowing that he is the brother of Hans Gruber ( the terrorist leader of the first Die Hard film ), you can understand why Simon does not like John at all. Jeremy Irons give a performance that fits well with an insane criminal, even if his accent is a bit funny at times. The action scenes are impressive, and you get a lot of gun battles as well as violence at times. Director John McTiernan ( who directed the original Die Hard film ) bring us a sequel that actually works as popcorn entertainment. And he clearly knew that the audience wanted to see John being forced into a extremely big challenge. Die Hard With A Vengeance is 90´s nostalgia, that especially fans of this genre will enjoy watching. You get a bit of everything here with great characters, plenty of fun action scenes and funny dialogue as well. 25 years may have passed, but Die Hard 3 will continue to entertain many generations ahead. After all, John McClance is the president we should have had in America.

Rating: DDD

Bad Boys For Life

Let´s go back in time, to the year of 1995. These years were some of the best years of my youth, since i was in a school class that i loved. I would have to say that those years were the best school years i ever had. During the year of 1995 i remember several things that made an impact this year. American rock band Faith No More released their 5th studio album known as King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime. I used to play this album a lot, and especially the song Evidence ( best rock ballad of 1995 ? I belive it is ). I would not say this is their best album, but they had some great songs on this album and frontman Mike Patton delivered some powerful vocals. American rock band Garbage released their debut album, simply called Garbage. In my opinion, this is the best rock album of 1995, and their best album ever. I know some people would say that Version 2.0 ( released in 1998 ) is even better, but i still feel that Garbage did an even stronger album with their debut record. But the summer of 1995 would become special, because of the realease of one major action film. And that film is of course Bad Boys. Directed by Michael Bay, and starring comedians Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, this was the perfect summer box office excperience for everyone, and i really had a good time in the company of Bad Boys. This film had everything you could wish for in a cop action buddy comedy, such as great characters, funny dialogue, great looking action scenes and a great music soundtrack as well. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence did a really good job, portraying 2 cops with very different opinions. 8 years later we would get the sequel Bad Boys 2. It´s a fun sequel, with some great action scenes, but it´s not as good as the first film. I did not expect to see the Bad Boys return after so many years, but here we are in 2020 with a third film. Is this the best Bad Boys sequel so far, or should they have left this franchise alone for good ?

Isabel Aretas ( Kate del Castillo ), widow of the cartel kingpin Benito, escapes from a Mexican prison with the aid from her son Armando Aretas ( Jacob Scipio ). Isabel sends Armando to Miami, tasking him with recovering a substantial stash of money his father Benito had hidden, as well as assassinating the people we were responsible forhis father´s arrest and eventual death in prison. Isabel demands that Armando kill Miami detective Mike Lowrey ( Will Smith ). In Miami, Mike accompanies his partner Marcus Burnett ( Martin Lawrence ) to the birth of his first grandson. Desiring to spend more time with family, Marcus tell Mike he intends to retire. This is not what Mike was expecting to hear, as he wants to continue working with Marcus. During a party celebrating Marcus grandson, Mike is shot down by Armando and left in a coma for months. Armando continues to assassinate other targets, seeking revenge for his father. Mike is slowly recovering, and he is determined to seek revenge. But Marcus is not on board of his plans, so Mike has no choice but to continue with his plans. With a deadly drug cartel planning more assassins, will Marcus change his mind and go back to his old school ways ?

If you were worried that this franchise would be dead, then i have some good news for you. Watching a film such as Bad Boys For Life brings back emotions from the 90´s. You got the characters that we love return on the big screen, and i have to say they work better this time than in Bad Boys 2. Of course they are a little bit older, but the chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence is what makes this film so much fun. Especially Martin Lawrence as Detective Marcus, he is no longer interested in chasing bad guys like they used to, and he is trying to enjoy his life with his family instead of firing guns and beating up criminals. I think it was a really good idea to show another portrait of Marcus, in this film. He recently had a grandson, and he has a different view on life than Detective Mike, who still want to be the rough cop who clean up the streets. Will Smith brings several funny scenes with Martin Lawrence, and you realise why you have missed these guys after so many years. I have to mention the character Captain Conrad Howard, played by actor Joe Pantoliano. He is still just as funny as he have always been in the previous Bad Boys films. One of the characters i feel worked better than i expected is the bad guy Armando, played by actor Jacob Scipio. I am curious to see what he will do next in his career. Directors Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah ( who directed the Belgian crime film Black ) have managed to make a sequel that works better than i expected, and somehow they found a way to bring back the Michael Bay feeling that we all recognize in a surprising way. Y
ou get plenty of car chases, gun shootings, and you know that this film is made for an audience that appreciated the previous films. Bad Boys For Life does not break any new ground, but that´s not the meaning of this film. This film is supposed to bring back the Bad Boys franchise back on it´s feet, and i have to say that it does in a positive way. If you are just looking for a good time in the cinema, then you should see this film and just have some fun. Bad Boys For Life is like coming home after a long time away from home, you realise all that you missed and leaves a satisfying feeling. 

Rating: DDD

måndag 17 februari 2020

Why We Need A Film Based On The Early Years Of Jamiroquai

Cheers everyone!

Daniel here, hoping you all had a fantastic weekend. A lot of films about legendary music bands and artists have been made, and especially in recent years with Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman and the Netflix film The Dirt. It is a hard balance to make a film based on music bands or music artists. But it can be done with the right director and the right cast. 

Now, i have been thinking a lot lately about a film based on the early years of British acid jazz soul funk disco band Jamiroquai, and especially on the years they released four of the best albums of the 90's, i am of course talking about....

Emergency On Planet Earth 1993
The Return Of The Space Cowboy 1994
Travelling Without Moving 1996
Synkronized 1999

I realize that the film might have to tell the story longer of course, but i feel that the acid jazz years are the golden years of Jamiroquai. Just imagine if young people would discover these albums today and dig them like i have for over 25 years. Imagine if the film could be released and finished to the 30 years anniversary of Emergency On Planet Earth in 2023, that would be wonderful. Of course i would love it if the film was made in England, with a strong cast. How do you feel about my idea, would you want to see a film based on the story of Jamiroquai ? I know i would love to see that. ;) 

New movie reviews coming up before this month ends, so stay tuned and have a fantastic week. 

Cheers from Daniel !

söndag 16 februari 2020

Candy Corn

In a lot of meals i use corn. I love the sweet taste, and corn can fit with a lot of different kinds of food combination. I also enjoy corn bread, that´s easy to make as well. If i had to choose one favourite meal with corn, it has to be Chili Con Carne. I could easily eat a whole big pot of this for a whole week. Last time i made a hell of a lot, so i had to put some in the freezer. I am curious to try sweet corn cobbler, the American recipe. It seems that you can mix in other ingredients as well, such as blueberry. I always wanted to have my own corn field, just imagine being able to have corn right from the field, playing the banjo and have moonshine on the front porch, now that´s quality life. Whenever i think about corn in films, there is especiallly one film that comes to my mind. The 1984 film Children Of The Corn, based on a short story of horror author Stephen King. Directed by Fritz Kiersch ( this was his directorial debut film ), this film tells the story of Vicky Baxter ( played by actress Linda Hamilton ) and Burt Stanton ( played by actor Peter Horton ) who are travelling through rural Nebraska, where a young boy suddenly stumbles out into the road and Burt run over him. Burt discover that someone has cut the boys throat beforehand. They take the corpse with them to nearest town Gaitlin, and they are about to find out that something very evil is controlling the children of Gaitlin. One of the things that make Children Of The Corn different from certain horror films, is that this film has children murdering adults. I would not say this is one of the better films based on a story from Stephen King, but is an 80´s classic. My suggestion is that you pick up the Blu Ray of Children Of The Corn, released from Arrow Video. This release has some nice special features included. In late autumn of 2019, i noticed reviews coming in about a horror film called Candy Corn. The trailer looked like fun I was hoping to see this film at Christmas, but plans changed and i finally got a chance to see the film on Blu Ray from Epic Pictures. Is this the perfect choice for a lovely spring day, or is Candy Corn as predictable as Jim Bakkers doomsday predictions ?

Jakob Atkins ( Nate Chaney ) is helping horror entertainer Lester ( Pancho Moler ) also known as Dr Death, preparing for his horror show Dr Death´s Sideshow Spookhouse Spectacular. Jakob gets beaten up by some young punks really bad, and ends up dead. Lester takes his body and prepare a ritual, to bring Jakob back to life. He returns, but not as the same person, but as a bloody killer.

Going in to a film as Candy Corn, is like being a child at the candy shop. You can find different kinds of flavors that you have been waiting for. You got the classic ingredients from a lot of Halloween inspired films, and you also have some other details attached to fit with the plot. In some ways i get a sense that this film is inspired by films of the 70´s, since the look of the film reminds me of this time period. I believe it is time to talk about the characters. One of the coolest characters of this film is without a doubt Gus, played by actor Sky Elobar ( who you must see in the odd and wonderful film The Greasy Strangler ). Imagine a mixture of a 1970´s looking Peter Stormare with the sexiest hair style ever, combined with a disco junkee look and you have Gus. Sky deliver a performance that you can´t resist. I also enjoy the performance of actor Pancho Moler, who plays Lester / Dr Death. When he puts on his show Dr Death´s Sideshow Spookhouse Spectactular, you know it´s going to be the closest you will ever get to the Nobel prize dinner. Nate Chaney as the masked killer does a performance that will touch your heart, or should i say rip it out. Legendary actor Tony Todd ( who most people of course will never forget from Candyman ) is in this film as well. He may not have many scenes, but Tony is one of those actors who can deliver in every performance he does. We have more legendary actors here as well, such as Courtney Gains ( who was one of the actors in the first Children Of The Corn films ) and P.J. Soles ( who was in the John Carpenter´s Halloween film ), and it is a true pleasure to see them in this film. Candy Corn is a Halloween film that brings back the 70´s vibe in a positive way, including some nice old school slasher scenes. I would not say this film is very original, but that´s ok since Candy Corn is made for an audience who loves Halloween films. Director Josh Hasty is not interested in making a modern film, and this is his biggest strength. He loves this genre, and you can tell he have a passion for old school horror films. Candy Corn will not go down as a future classic, but this is a good choice if you are a fan of low budget horror films. How about some candy corn folks ? No ? That´s alright, my shotgun might get the party started, i always try and make everyone feel welcome.

Rating: DDD

You can find the Region Free Blu Ray of the film Candy Corn on this web page from Epic Pictures.


onsdag 12 februari 2020

Dark Light

Monsters, we fear them as children and we remember them in our dreams. I remember one of my first nightmares about monsters, and it was after watching the first TV pilot episode of V The Series back in the 80´s. The lizard people freaked me out, and even if i was scared, i still wanted to see more of the TV series V. Monsters comes in many forms and shapes, and in the film industry we have seen quite a lot of different types of monsters. One of the biggest classic monster movies from the old school days of Hollywood, is of course Creature From The Black Lagoon. Released in 1954 and directed by Jack Arnold, this film tells the story of an geology expedition in the Amazon, encounter a piscine amphibious humanoid creature. If you watch this film today, you will probably think it looks silly compared to monster films who are more modern. But this is a true cult film, that should be seen for nostalgic reasons. I suggest you pick up the Blu Ray release, and have a listen at the Feature Commentary with film historian Tom Weaver. You will find out some interesting details there, that might be interesting to know. If i had to pick out a personal favourite monster movie, then it would be very hard. There are so many great titles to choose between. But if i had to choose one i would go for the 1987 sci fi action film Predator. Directed by legendary director John McTiernan, this film tells the story of an American elitie military rescue team who is sent into the jungle of Central America. But what they don´t know is that there is an Alien hiding in the jungle, looking for new victims. This is without a doubt one of the best monster films of the 80´s and one of the best Schwarzenegger films. The design of the Predator is incredible, and looks fantastic even today. Since i am a fan of monster horror movies, i recently got a chance to see a film called Dark Light. A monster movie out in the countryside, sounds like fun right ? Is this a surprisingly good horror film, or is Dark Light as forgettable as Peter Andre´s 2006 album A Whole New World ?

Annie Knox ( Jessica Madsen ) return to her childhood home, out in the countryside with her daughter Emily Knox ( Opal Littleton ). After some rough moments in her life, Annie is hoping things will turn around better this time. But after experiencing some strange lights out in the fields, Annie feels that they are not alone in this house. Her former husband Paul Knox ( Ed Brody ) is worried that the strange behavior of Annie will affect his daughter Emily. More strange things are happening around the house for each day. Is Annie just imagining everything, or is something really going on in this house ?

Remember the M Night Shyamalan film Signs from 2002 ? Combine that film together with Encounters Of The Third Kind and you have Dark Light
. This is a well made sci fi horror film, that manage to bring back the style of old school sci fi films, and combine it with an monster design that looks good. What i especially like about this film, is that the lead character Annie Knox is a woman struggling with personal problems, and give this character a very realistic view on how hard life can be. Actress Jessica Madsen ( who you probably noticed in Rambo Last Blood last year ) gives the strongest acting performance in this film as Annie. Considering all the problems she seems to have in her personal life, and all the pain she is carrying from her Mother who ended her own life, it is not strange why she is trying a fresh start with her daughter. Another great performance comes from actress Kristina Clifford as Sheriff Dickerson. She feels so natural in this character, and Kristina clearly knows how to act as a small town sheriff with a big heart. We have to talk about the monster design from Aaron Sims. This monster looks like an odd mix of Creature From The Black Lagoon and some kind of alien. I love the head design with the big white light, where the creature suck energy from human souls. There is not a lot of gore in this film, only in specific scenes. But that´s ok, since i feel that this film manage to work anyway with a good plot. Director Padraig Reynolds ( who directed the horror movie Worry Dolls ) have made a sci fi horror film that is more effective than i expected. He manage to combine some ideas we have seen before, but with a fresh breath of air into this genre. Dark Light is the perfect Valentines Day film for all couples to enjoy on this romantic day. This film has all of those Valentines Day ingredients that you have been looking for in flower shops, super market or in your local book store. You see all you people in love out there, we do have hope in quality films thanks to Dark Light.

Rating: DDD

The Blood Alligator ( 狂暴巨鳄 )

Alligators, you either love them or hate them. But the truth is that they actually have an important role in maintaining ecosystem balance. Did you know that alligators help keeping other animal populations in balance ? When they dig holes and leave trails throughout marshes, they create habiats for fish and marine invertebrates. Alligators also help protect birds. So you see they do have a good heart, and are not always mean. So now you know it´s ok to get close to them, they might cuddle more than you think. When it comes to films that brings up the subject of alligators, i have to mention the cult classic film Alligator, released in 1980. Directed by Lewis Teague ( who also directed the Rutger Hauer cult classic film Wedlock ), this film tells the story of a baby alligator, who is flushed down in a toilet in Chicago. 12 years later, the alligator have survived in the sewer, and have mutated from eating covertly discarded pet carcasses. This is a fun B movie, and actually not bad effects for being a B movie. If you love animal horror films, then you should see Alligator and see a true classic. And the cast of this film helps the film to be enjoyable as well. We have legendary actor Dean Jagger ( this was actually his last film ) who Bruce Lee fans recognize from his classic film Game Of Death. You also have legendary actor Robert Forster ( who i especially remember from the Chuck Norris film The Delta Force ) in the leading role. Let´s not forget legendary actor Henry Silva ( who Chuck Norris fans guaranteed will remember from the film Code Of Silence, one of Chuck´s best films ) is also in Alligator. Chinese films are released constantly, and i only see very few of them. I have seen a lot of interesting titles since last year, and i came across a film with a really fun title, simply called The Blood Alligator. As you know i am a big B movie fan, so of course i had to see this. Is this the perfect film for Valentines Day, or should you celebrate with a bottle of vodka instead of watching The Blood Alligator ?

Scientist Chen Jing ( Cen Cheng ) have learned that her fianceé was attacked of a giant Crocodile. With a military team, she heads out to locate the beast, even if her Boss Xie Wei-Lian ( Zhang De-Hui ) is not happy about this operation. But this operation will turn out to be harder than anyone expected, since they have no idea how to handle this beast.

If you love B movies with animals attacking, and big guns, then you should be feeling lucky with The Blood Alligator. This is like going all the way back to the early 90´s, where you mix a lot of different B movie ingredients together. Does this combination work ? If you don´t go into this film with high expectations, then i think you should be able to have a good time. This is the kind of film that you don´t have to care about any plot, since you just want to see action scenes and these beasts attacking. And this is what works best about the film, we get exactly what we wished for, big guns, hot girls and the beasts hungry for flesh. This film actually reminded me of the 1996 sci fi action film Solo with actor Mario Van Peebles. There are some differences of course between the stories, but they both take place in a jungle and both films have military teams armed to their teeth. The main character is scientist Chen Jing. My favourite character in this film is the bad ass female character Aaone, played by actress Jenna Wang ( also known as Wong Si-Pin ). She is ready to kick ass anytime, and let´s face it guys, anyone of us would not say no being in a wrestling match with her. One of the funniest characters in this film is without the crazy Lao Hei, the guide who is probably drinking 25 energy drinks every day. He is the guide we all wish we had on vacations, who would make any holiday more fun. He is played by actor Zheng Xi, and he have managed to make this character unique for this film. The CGI effects are not the best, but not horrible either. If you can accept that, then i believe you will see the entertainment value in a film such as this. One detail is strange, there are crocidiles attacking, while the title is still The Blood Alligator, maybe there is another background story for this. Director Su Yu is clearly inspired by a lot of B movies from the past, and he manage to balance this in his own way. He also manage to bring in some comedy scenes as well, and at certain moments they actually fit in with the plot. The Blood Alligator is unfortunately not avaible on DVD ( at least not here in Europe ), so you will have to watch it on VOD or another platform. Hopefully we can get a DVD release this year in the UK at least, since i believe this film would find a bigger fan base if they did. If you are a fan of B movies, then give this film a chance. Not even the Fifty Shades Of Grey fans can´t deny that this film has something for everyone.

Rating: DDD

lördag 8 februari 2020

The Peanut Butter Falcon

A friendship with someone can change your life, and bring happiness for many years. A friendship may also help you through bad times, that we all face at different moments in our lives. I am personally grateful for the friends i have, and the memories we have from the past that we can still talk about. When i think about films that tell a story of unique friendships, we have a lot of titles to choose between. But there is one film i especially love, for a number of different reasons. And that film is known as Sling Blade, released in 1996. Directed by legendary actor Billy Bob Thornton, he also have the lead role as the intellectually disabled Karl Childes. After being locked up for many years in a state mental hospital for killing his parents, he is now ready ( according to his doctor ) to be let back out in society. He meets the young boy Frank Wheatly ( played wonderful by actor Lucas Black ) who becomes a friend with Karl. Frank´s mother Linda Wheatly ( also a great performance from actress Natalie Canerday ) accept Karl to visit their home, since she sees that he really care about her son. Franks stepfather Doyle ( fantastic performance from country singer Dwight Yoakam ) is a real asshole, who abuses Linda and treats Frank like shit. Karl understand what´s going on, and he will not allow this to go on. Sling Blade is one of the best independent drama films of the 90´s with an amazing cast, and i have to say that Billy Bob Thornton does one of his best acting performances in his career ( and he have done a lot of really good films ). Sling Blade is a must buy, and my suggestion is that you get the 2 DVD disc from the UK with some nice special features. Last week i was listening to British film critic Mark Kermode while he did a review for the independent film The Peanut Butter Falcon. This sounded really interesting, so i decided to check this film out on VOD. Is this one of the best independent films in a long time, or is The Peanut Butter Falcon a boring experience ?

Zak ( Zack Gottsagen ) is stuck at an retirement home, since he has no family left who can look after him. He is too young to be in here, but have no choice since he can´t take care of himself. At this elders home, Zak´s friend Carl ( Bruce Dern ) help Zak to escape from the retirement home. The one woman who is supposed to make sure of taking care of Zak, known as Eleanor ( Dakota Fanning ), is forced to travel across the state, to look for Zak. It turns out that Zack found his way to a fishing boat, where he hides. There he encounters troubled fishing worker Tyler ( Shia LaBeouf ), who is not happy about having an unknown passanger. But he realise that Zak have escaped for a certain reason, and on their road trip, they are about to find out that they might have more in common than they both thought.

You know that feeling when you see a film that turns out to be so good, that you can´t stop watching ? This is exactly how if felt while watching The Peanut Butter Falcon. This film looks fantastic, and the acting is absolutely brilliant from almost every character. Not only that, but the beautiful countryside locations is a perfect match for this story. One of the things that makes this film so special, is to show you that you can find a true friendship, when you least expect it. In some ways this film reminded me of the really good drama comedy Rain Man. 2 very different people become friends, even if they come from different backgrounds. Another important detail about this film, is to show people that there is nothing wrong about being a person who has downs syndrome. They are just as much human as anyone else, and should be treated with respect. Let´s get into the characters for a bit. I will begin with wonderful actor Zack Gottsagen, who delivers one of the best performances i have seen in a very long time. He really goes all in with his character, and manage to bring out an amazing portrait of Zak. Actor Shia LaBeouf is a perfect choice for the character known as Tyler, a man filled with personal problems, who may start to learn more about life when he meets Zack. The journey we follow with these 2 men deliver some really funny moments, but also some sadness when reality strikes. Legendary actor Bruce Dern ( who i absolutely love in the independent film Nebraska, a must buy on DVD or Blu Ray ) give us another strong performance. Directors Tyler Nilsson and Michael Schwartz have managed to tell a story filled with so much passion, that you will fall in love with this film. Even if the story is very simple, it is so effective that you will not forget it. The Peanut Butter Falcon is just like a fantastic desert, once you tasted it you can sit there for hours and still enjoy the taste. If you are going to pick up one DVD or Blu Ray this spring, it should be The Peanut Butter Falcon. I seriously doubt you will find any other title better than this film at this moment.

Rating: DDDD

tisdag 4 februari 2020

Line Of Duty

Gentlemen dinners, the time when men get to sit down and talk about male stuff and don´t worry about getting drunk and ( for some reason ) be comfortable beeing naked together. There is something special about gentlemen dinners, and we need them to help us lift up all the important isssues such as:

* What alcohol you should be buying ?
* When does the local strip bar close ?
* Who would you spend a night with, your beer bottles or Steve Guttenberg ?

But every time i have been to a gentlemen dinner, the same subject comes up everytime. You might think it is about relationships, or personal problems. But the truth is that real gentlemen want to talk about actor Aaron Eckhart. Why ? Because a lot of gentlemen see him as the perfect male, and that especially became clear after men in Sweden watched him in the sci fi action film World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles. It was here where Swedish men discovered the perfect man, and that was Aaron Eckhart as military Seargent Michael Nantz. If you ask men in Sweden they have watched more than 10 times on Netflix, the answer would be this film. Because no one can bring out the emotions in men, like Aaron Eckhart does in World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles. Last time we brought this up, one man at the gentlemen dinner started Crying ( i must mention he is originally from Finland ), because Aaron Eckhart means that much to him. Now that is male Power on the highest level. Aaron Eckhart have been in so many films over the years, it is easy to forget all the titles. But i remembered a film i did enjoy with him, released in 2006. And that film is known as The Black Dahlia, directed by legendary director Brian De Palma. The Black Dahlia is based on the true story of the mysterious murder of Elizabeth Short. I would not say this is one of the better films from De Palma, but Aaron Eckhart is actually good in this film. I noticed recently that he have made a new cop action film called Line Of Duty. Aaron Eckhart as a police officer, how can anyone say no to that ? Is this a great choice for fans of this genre, or should Eckhart have done a sequel to I, Frankenstein instead of this film ?

Officer Frank Penny ( Aaron Eckhart ) is a uniformed cop who walks his city beat with a resigned attitude and a heavy heart. His past has left him fairly disgraced in the department, so at this point he is just watching the days pass without any hopes or ambition. All of this changes when he finds himself chasing a suspect from a failed ranson pickup. The suspect is shot down by Frank in an Alley, and it turns out that this suspect had information on Police Chief Volk´s ( Giancarlo Esposito ) kidnapped daughter. Frank is stripped from his gun and badge, for not following orders. But this does not stop Frank from going after the person who kidnapped Volk´s daughter.

If you are looking for a very predictable action cop film, then look no further. Line Of Duty is a perfect match if you want something very easy to watch. This is the kind of film you can watch, where you don´t need to think anything. You get a pretty simple plot, that looks like a lot of cop films from the 90´s. And this is my problem with Line Of Duty, there is not much here to be happy about. The problem is not actor Aaron Eckhart, because he is one of the biggest reasons why you want to watch this film. Your recognize his acting style, and the way he usually do his characters. So it basically all comes down to what Line Of Duty does wrong, and bring us a cop film that you won´t remember. But there is one actor who actually bring us something to be happy about. And that is legendary actor Giancarlo Esposito ( who most of you remember from the classic criminal TV series Law & Order, and Breaking Bad of course ) as the character Volk. His performance is actually better than most actors in this film, and the scenes he is in gives this film a different approach. There are a few interesting actors in here as well, but since Line Of Duty feels uninspired , you don´t really care much about what will happen. Aaron as the police officer Frank Penny, is thankfully one detail that helps this film from falling apart. Some of the action scenes with Eckhart may not be anything special, but he manage to pull them off with his charm. Is there not anything more to be happy about this film ? Honestly no, because everything i have seen in this film has been done before. The social media broadcast ( supposed to be serious news reporters ) does not feel serious at all. If they were supposed to be a modern take on news broadcast on social media, then they missed the mark completely. Director Steven C. Miller ( who directed the great horror comedy Silent Night ), have a past of making action films, and he does manage to pull of a few good action scenes. But that does not help when there are way too many predictable scenes in this film. Line Of Duty is not a horrible film, but is way too forgettable to care about. If you want to see a really good cop film, go watch the classic Training Day on Netflix instead with Ethan Hawk and Denzel Washington. Now that´s how you make a really good cop film, that still works well after almost 20 years.

Rating: DD

Dark Encounter

I have always been fascinated by space and the unkown planets we have out there. Are there other life forms out there, or are we alone in the universe ? I personally believe that there might be life on another planet. Perhaps not aliens that we see in films and TV series, but maybe there is life on a microbiology level. I could be wrong, maybe there are alien species out there, but we need proof of this first before we can confirm this is true. Maybe we will find out as we explore new planets in the future. When it comes to sci fi films that brings up aliens, there are so many great titles to choose between. It all depends on what you are looking for, in the sci fi genre. But everytime i think about aliens in films, i always look back at one of my personal favourite films in this genre, the sci fi drama Fire In The Sky, released in 1993. I have brought up this film in the past in some of my reviews, but this is one of those films people don´t really talk about much anymore, so let´s go through the plot once more. This film is based on the story by the abduction story of Travis Walton, that he released in his novel The Walton Experience. Even if the book and the film have some changes done, the film takes place in 1975, in Snowflake, Arizona. When a gang of loggers head back home after a hard days work in the forest, Travis Walton ( D.B. Sweeney ) notice with his co-workers a strange shining light in the forest from the highway. They drive towards the light, where Travis goes out to check the sky. There he sees some kind of UFO, shining a beam of light on him. The other men drive off, trying to tell people what happened. Travis is not found anywhere in the forest, and the days go by, until one night when Travis calls from a phone booth. He is found naked, and completely terrified. What happened to Travis, and where was he for so many days ? Director Robert Lieberman managed to combine a very serious drama story, with science fiction in a very emotional way. Fire In The Sky is a must have in your DVD collection. As i went through recently bought DVD´s from the UK, i decided to check out a film called Dark Encounter that looked really interesting. Is this a surprisingly good sci fi film, or is Dark Encounter a film that no one will remember at all ?

In 1982, parents Olivia ( Laura Fraser ) and Ray ( Mel Raido ) go out for a night out, while their young daughter Maisie stay home alone. As they return, Maisie is gone and nowhere to be seen. A year goes by and no one still knows nothing of where their daughter Maisie is. But the family is about to find out the truth, and no one is really prepared to what is about to be revealed.

If you love the Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and the cult classic Fire In The Sky, then you are going to love Dark Encounter. This is not the ordinary alien abduction film, but much deeper than you might expect. You see, towards the last 25 minutes of the film, you get a complete different twist into the story. And this is especially what makes Dark Encounter so good, since you did not expect this film to end the way it did. And i love when a director dares to go in a completely different direction, instead of following the same predictable plot that a lot of sci fi film does. Even if the film starts off in a similar way to Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, i still feel that this film manage to do it in a very professional way thanks to strong acting performances. Let´s get into the characters for a bit. Ray, played by British actor Mel Raido ( who i especially remember from the British crime drama Clubbed ) does a really good performance, as the father to his missing daughter Maisie. Mel really digs deep into his character, and how it feels not knowing where your child is. Breaking Bad actress Laura Fraser also give a strong performance as Maisies mother Olivia. You can tell she is also suffering, when no one seems to know where Maisie is. There are other great performances in this as well, but we need to talk about the cinematography by Bart Sienkiewicz. He has done a wonderful job on this film, and manage to capture the right tone for this genre. Director Carl Strathie have made one of the best independent sci fi films in recent years with Dark Encounter. Not only does he manage to capture the tone of some of the best alien abduction classics, he also adds something completely different to the plot in a very emotional way. I am curious to know if director Carl Strathie also loves Fire In The Sky, i got a sense he might have been inspired by that film while making Dark Encounter ( i could be wrong, i hope not ). I suggest you pick up Dark Encounter on DVD or Blu Ray this weekend, and experience a real quality film with more depth than you can imagine.

Rating: DDDD