tisdag 30 mars 2021

Zack Snyder´s Justice League

I still remember, when i for the first time saw the 1980 film Superman II, and that was in 1985. I was 8 years old, and this was the coolest film i had seen at that time. I remember that i even got myself a Superman costume at one moment, and i tried to fly off in the forest. Of course it was impossible to lift off, but it felt good feeling the spirit of Superman, that you want to do something good on this Earth, helping people. Superman II had a very good combination of a solid story, and great characters as well.  To see legendary actor Christopher Reeve as Superman, fight against the 3 criminals known as General Zod, Ursa and Non, was a big highlight for kids at that time.  Superman II had both great action scenes, and a good sense of humour as well, and this film is directed by legendary director Richard Lester ( who fans of The Beatles really appreciate for his musical comedy A Hard Day´s Night ). I still enjoy the first film from 1978, but i actually prefer the sequel. Christopher Reeve as Superman will always be the greatest Superman in cinema, there is no question about that. As most of you know, Superman is based on the comic book character from DC Comics, and have been around since 1938. But there are plenty of DC comic book characters that have found a huge fan base worldwide, with comic book characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and many others. All of these characters have their own films, and some of them are actually really good ( not Batman & Robin from 1997 ). After actor Henry Cavill managed to deliver as Superman in Man Of Steel, i was excited to see him face Ben Affleck in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. That film did have a few fun moments, but actor Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor destroyed this film. When we got the news that even more DC comic characters would team up in Justice League, i felt a glimpse of hope. That film did have a few fun moments as well, but did not work thanks to bad CGI effects of Steppenwolf, and the lack of character development. So DC comic book fans across the world found out that director Zack Snyder had a longer cut of Justice League. After fans started a name petition to try and get the Snyder Cut released, no one was sure if the studio would agree to let this longer cut be released. But here we are in 2021, and the film was actually released on HBO Max and HBO Nordic. Is this longer version of Justice League better than the 2017 version, or should they have skipped releasing this version at all?

2000 years ago, Darkseid and his Parademons attempted to conquer Earth using the Mother Boxes ( created by Apokoliptian scinetist Himon ). They fail with their mission, as they are attacked by a unified Alliance of Old Gods, Amazons, Atlanteans, humanity, and a Green Lantern. After the battle, the boxes were hidden in different locations, guarded by the Amazons, Atlanteans, and humanity, respectively. In the present, Superman´s ( Henry Cavill ) death triggers the Mother Boxes reactivation, attracting Steppenwolf ( Ciarán Hinds ), one of Darkesid´s servants, to Earth. Steppenwolf who have fallen out of favor with Darkseid, aims to regran it by gathering the boxes to form "The Unity". Bruce Wayne ( Ben Affleck ), also known as Batman, can not defeat Steppenwolf on his own, so he gather a team of superheroes to make sure that Steppenwolf´s plan will fail

Let´s make one things straight right away. Zack Snyder have made a better film with his cut of Justice League, no doubt about that. He manage to give each character more depth, and there are a lot better CGI effects here, especially on the main bad character Steppenwolf ( who looked terrible in the 2017 film ). One important detail is that in this longer cut, we find out the background story of the character Cyborg ( played by actor Ray Fisher ). For those of you who have seen the 2017 film of Justice League, you might remember that Cyborg was the most mysterious character, because we didn´t really find out much about him. In the Zack Snyder cut, we do find out what really happened to him, and why his whole life changed. And this is a detail that really helps this film become more interesting, because Cyborg is clearly struggling to be accepted in society. The other characters in this film also give the Justice League team some entertaining moments. Ben Affleck as Batman is a solid match, where Ben knows exactly how to portrait Bruce Wayne with smooth dialogue and the right kind of personality. Actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, is definetely one of the highlights in this film, as she brings another strong acting performance. I have to mention that i really enjoy the new scenes with Wonder Woman, they actually add something tasteful to the story, compared to the 2017 film. Jason Momoa as Aquaman needs no big introduction, he manage to bring some fun with his portrait of this powerful character. Henry Cavill have no problem with giving us his portrait of Superman, that give us some charmeful moments. Ezra Miller as The Flash does not feel annoying, as he did in the 2017 film. He does bring some comedy moments in this longer version as well, but this time it works better. So what makes the Snyder cut better, a part of better action scenes? The story is told in a much more effective way, where you can understand the characters on a much more personal level than in the 2017 version. We also get a more serious tone with the Snyder cut, where director Zack Snyder skip too many comedy elements, and bring in a different vibe into the storyline. This film is 4 hours long, so if you can accept that, you will most likely have a good time with this version. Zack Snyder´s Justice Leage does not only manage to work better as an action film, but this film also manage to bring out the DC comic book characters in a more effective way than Joss Whedon´s version of Justice League. Definetely worth checking out if you are a comic book fan, or worship Gal Gadot as i do as Wonder Woman, who would not want to marry her? ( Don´t tell my wife i said that, i might get in trouble ).

Rating: DDD

fredag 26 mars 2021

40 Years Anniversary Review Of The Road Warrior

 I stil remember certain details about the 80´s, even when i was very young at that time. And i especially remember our neighbor family The Ostwalds, because they used to get their hands on VHS films that i had no idea existed. They used to have a whole wall of VHS films, and i remember that i went through every tape, where i was especially fascinated about the covers. The Ostwalds owned a shop dowtown where they sold tobacco, candy, magazines, sodas, basically all the stuff you would want on a weekend. Next to their shop was a VHS video rental store, and The Ostwalds knew the owner, so they would get their hands on new VHS films from there, and this gave me some luck. I got to see some of the films they brought home. One of those films was Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, wich i thought had such a cool VHS cover. At that time i had no idea that this was the third film in the Mad Max franchise. Even if i was too young to watch Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, i enjoyed the film and loved the atmosphere of Mad Max, where people are stuck inside a apocalyptic world. It was also fun to see legendary music artist Tina Turner doing a role as the character Aunty Entity. I believe it was 2 years later, when i got to see the second Mad Max film The Road Warrior on VHS for the first time, as i found it on sale at a VHS store. I still remember the first time i watched this film, and i soon realised that this film is much better than Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. There were so many cool action scenes in The Road Warrior, and this film also had some really good characters as well. I did eventually watch the first film as well, but The Road Warrior was still the best in the franchise. Recently i was going through a list of films that turns 40 years old this year, and the year of 1981 had some really good releases. The Road Warrior was on this list, and i decided to revisit this film to see how i feel about it today. Does the dusty roads of The Road Warrior still work as effective today as it did in the 80´s, or have this film aged too much and don´t have much to offer?

The world have suffered through a global war and the collapse of civilization, where oil supplies were nearly exhausted. Haunted by the death of his family, former policeman Max Rockatansky ( Mel Gibson ) travel across the desert to find supplies, and survive against savages. Max manage to find an oil refinery, who seems to have a lot of supplies, as well as oil. But the compound is attacked by the desert savages known as "The Marauders", who wants all of their oil. The people who live on this compound will never let them in, and defend their ground. The people at the compound realise that they might be able to use Max to help them, to help them escape to a better world in harmony. Max agree on one condition, if he get his car back and give him as much fuel as he can carry. The only way to survive, is to risk everything on the highway.

When a film that was made 40 years ago have better looking highway action scenes than action films that are made today, i think that clearly proves that The Road Warrior was ahead of it´s time. This is one of the best desert action films ever made, and it is of course thanks to director George Miller and his oustanding camera work. Some of the highway battle scenes works so well, that you want to stand up and applaud infront of your TV screen. One of the biggest reasons why this film works so well, is thanks to the powerful acting performances, who are actually bad guys. Let us begin with the savage character known as Wez ( played by legendary actor Vernon Wells, who some of you might remember from the Schwarzenegger film Commando ). Wez have a mohawk hair cut, looks like a complete maniac and he have no compassion for any humans. As long as he gets to kill, nothing will stop him. Vernon Wells manage to bring out the insanity into the character of Wez, in his own unique way. The second character is the leader of The Maraders known as The Humungus ( played by Swedish actor Kjell Nilsson ). The Humungus looks like a muscle monster, who have a very cool look through his mask ( reminds me of Jason Voorhees ). Kjell have no problem delivering a character that you won´t forget, who is clearly a very powerful leader. So what about Mel Gibson as Mad Max? I think it is no secret that Mel knows exactly how to play Mad Max, and he does this wihout any flaws. One of the things i do think is good about the character of Mad Max, is that he does not need to talk a lot. You can see the pain and anger in his facial expressions, as he just focuses on surviving. You might think he have no heart at all, but that clearly changes towards the end as he tries to help a group of survivors on the highway. I am no big fan of car action movies, but if i would choose one film in this genre it would have to be The Road Warrior. This is how you make an action film on the highway, where there are no rules. Just imagine that they made these car scenes without any CGI effects, and made these scenes so well 40 years ago. If you want to experience a film where you actually feel the heat of the highway, The Road Warrior is the film to choose. A must see for action lovers, and car lovers as well. An iconic film in this genre that will live on to many generations ahead. If you ask me, the best work from legendary director George Miller.

Rating: DDDD

onsdag 17 mars 2021

Tale Of Tails Season 1

Sweden have a history of good directors, especially director Thomas Alfredson. If you for some reason don´t know what films he have directed, we need to bring up at least two films. Let us begin with my personal favourite, and that is the 2008 horror drama Låt Den Rätte Komma In ( Let The Right One In ). I mentioned this film in my review of Andra Sidan ( that i published earlier this month, and there you can read what the film is about ). This is one of those films i can watch again, no matter how many years go by, and it still holds the same level of quality as it did back in 2008. Let´s get to my second favourite film from director Thomas Alfredson, and that is the 2011 Cold War spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This is not a Swedish film, but if you enjoy really good thrillers, this is a film you need to see. Thomas Alfredson managed to bring back this genre on the right track, and especially with the fantastic cast of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones and many more. Just reading that list makes you jump of joy, because these are some really powerful actors. I suggest you watch both films if you have not seen them, both of them are really good. But there are directors that are originally from Sweden, who works hard in America and does not get the respect that they deserve, in their home country. A perfect example of that is director Harley Wallen, who have directed quite a lot of films over the years, including short films as well. The first time i saw one of his films was in September last year, and that film was Eternal Code. One of the first things i noticed with Eternal Code, is that director Harley Wallen knows how to take on a serious subject such as the medical industry, and create an emotional story. I also feel that this film did a great job with the portrait of character Oliver, played by legendary actor Richard Tyson. I suggest you check this film out on VOD, or DVD, as long as you support his work. I have been hearing for quite some time about a brand new independent TV series called Tale Of Tales, that is getting a lot of respect from critics, and even winning awards as well. I managed to get an exclusive look at Tales Of Tales, to write a review for the whole season. Director Harley Wallen seems to be getting the respect that he deserves, so is this brand new TV series one of the highlights of 2021, or were my expectations too high ? 

Tails is not a White-collar gentlemen´s club. It´s a borderline-legal bar with topless dancers, where the owner Nick ( Harley Wallen ) makes sure his customers enjoy the striptease shows. When a young woman is found dead in the bathroom of Tails, Nick have no plans of getting blamed for this, so he does not want the cops sneaking around. Detective Alison Olsen ( Kaiti Wallen ) don´t believe anything that Nick says, and she is determined to find out the truth. 

I am quite shocked honestly. I did not expect to see one of the best TV series of this year this early, but here we are with Tale Of Tales, and director Harley Wallen does not only hit a strike with this TV series, but this is also his best work as an director. Harley gives us a very realistic portrait, especially from the reality of a strip club. How do i know? I used to visit especially one favourite strip club in the early 2000´s, almost every month after payday ( i have so many wonderful memories from there, especially one night to the song Black Coffee by British pop band All Saints ), and i got a chance to know the girls, and the staff as well. So for me personally, i feel that Tale Of Tails does a very good job on portraying that business in a realistic way. One thing i have to mention is that this TV series looks really good, with really beautiful colors, especially in the strip club scenes. To be honest, i can´t remember the last time i saw girls doing striptease dancing that natural, as they do in Tale Of Tails. But the whole plot is not only inside the strip club, so there are other locations that are connected with the storyline, and the investigation. Let´s get into the acting, and i have to say that Harley Wallen delivers his best acting performance so far in Tale Of Tails, compared to his previous films. This is exactly what i wanted to see, Harley going all the way in for his character Nick. How would i describe Nick? Well, in some people´s minds i can imagine that they would think he may not be very nice. But i can understand him, from a business perspective. If you want to run a strip club, you need customers to pay, and you need the right kind of girls to please the visitor. Does he have a good heart? I would say that he does have a friendly personality to those who know him, but his bad side causes him damage. I also feel that he is struggling with a lot of personal issues, and he clearly have a lot of anger against his brother, and this affects him. Actor Trevis R. Marcum is the funniest character in Tale Of Tailes, as the character Roadie. And he is without a doubt the right man to call out every girl on stage, as he also gets to deal with many unexpected situations. Actress Kaiti Wallen definetely surprised me with her performance as Alison Olsen, and this is definetely her best acting performance so far. She clearly worked really hard to give her character a realistic portrait. Tale Of Tails takes on many different serious issues, such as murder, criminals and family issues, and do it in a very effective way. Director Harley Wallen knows how to connect the right strings, while adding some nice surprises along the way. If you don´t know what TV series is going to find an audience worldwide this year, i can tell you right now that Tale Of Tails will knock most of them out. Finally a TV series that´s both realistic and gives us an honest portrait of the strip club industry, and manage to to bring a solid crime story into the mix, with great characters included. I salute to you Harley Wallen, for making a TV series that´s definetely going to make a huge impact. Tale Of Tails is a must see for everyone. 

Rating: DDDD

torsdag 11 mars 2021

Monster Hunter

Gamers worldwide, i think we need to show some respect, especially to actress Milla Jovovich. Not only is she one of the best female action actors out there, but she brought something unique with her portrait of Alice in the Resident Evil franchise. I know there have been a lot of different opinions about the Resident Evil films over the years, but i am actually a fan of this franchise, and that is mainly because Milla Jovovich was the best choice for the lead role. When she is kicking ass on the big screen, you can not deny that she did a hell of a good job with every film. It must have been tough, to pull off all those stunts, and make it look cool, but Milla knew exactly how to make it work. Next year it will be 20 years ( time flies by for sure ) since the first Resident Evil film came out, and this is one of those films i hope you have all seen. If you have not, let me tell you a little bit about this film. Loosely based on the video game called Resident Evil, this film tells the story of Alice ( Milla Jovovich ), who wakes up in a bathroom in a deserted mansion with temporary amnesia. A Group of commandos breaks in into the mansion, led by James Shade ( Colin Salmon ). Alice is ordered to go down to The Hive, a genetic research facility, owned by the Umbrella Corporation. The commandos explain that eveyone in the group, except Matt Addison ( Eric Mabius ), is an employee of the Umbrella Corporation. Alice and her partner Spence Parks ( James Purefoy ) were assigned to to guard The Hive´s secret entrance under the mansion. They soon find out that the T-virus, have been used as a experimentation to create creatures. Resident Evil delivers a fun combination of horror and action combined, and you will recognize some influences from the video game. Director Paul W.S. Andserson clearly knew how to bring this video game adaptation to the big screen, in a surprisingly positive way. Milla and director Paul have worked together in several sequels to Resident Evil, and they seem to get a long very well. When i finally got the news early last year that they both would return in a new video game adaptation called Monster Hunter ( based on the video game ), i was really excited. Especially when the trailer was released, it looked like a lot of fun. I finally got a chance to sit down and watch Monster Hunter on VOD ( it is now out on digital, and should be available on DVD and Blu Ray by the end of this month in Sweden ). Is this another amazing collaboration between Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson, or is the magic gone for good?

In the New World where humans co-exists with a wide variety of large and savage monsters, a Hunter, a warrior trained to hunt and kill these powerful creatures, is seperated from his team when their ship is attacked by Diablos, a horned subterranean creature. In the real World, United States Army Captain Natalie Artemis ( Milla Jovovich ) and her U.N. security team search for a missing team of soldiers in the desert. A sudden storm pulls them into a portal to the New World, where they find the soldiers dead, not knowing what happened to them. But as they investigate the desert, they are about to find out what really happened.

Since i have not played Monster Hunter as a video game, i have no idea if this film fails to capture the look or emotions of the game. So i will review this film, and just make my opinions based upon what i watched. If you are a fan of the Resident Evil films, i have a feeling you might enjoy Monster Hunter as well. These films don´t have much at all in common, since they are completely different in many ways. But you will recognize the style of director Paul W.S. Anderson, and that includes a lot of action, plenty of violence, and monsters as well, And this is something he managed to do well in Resident Evil, and he manage to do the same with Monster Hunter. This is a film for the 90´s generation who just want a fun action film, while having a big bucket of pocorn. This is not a film you take serious, but just enjoy for 90´s nostalgic reasons. And this is the biggest reason why i enjoy Monster Hunter, sometimes you just want a simple monster film that is made for a certain audience. How about the performance of Milla Jovovich? Well, if you enjoyed her tough attitude in the Resident Evil franchise, you will get to see her do some big action scenes once more. I think it is so much fun to see Milla do what she knows best, and that is to be an action star. If anyone can pull this off, then she is the one to do it. I would not say she bring a lot of new elements to her character in Monster Hunter, but i doubt that this is what people will be focusing on in a film like this. Legendary actor Ron Perlman have a hairpiece that looks like he came right out of The Lion King remake, and it´s pretty fun to see. Action actor Tony Jaa have no problem doing his scenes, since he knows how to entertain the audience with his wonderful personality. Any problems with Monster Hunter? Maybe that we don´t get to know the background story to these monsters ( only a few details are revealed ), that might have explained certain details in some scenes. Overall, i had a good time with Monster Hunter, it feels inspired by many monster films in the past, especialy the 1990 classic known as Tremors, wich is of course a nice surprise. If you can accept that this is not as good as the Resident Evil franchise, just let Monster Hunter entertain you for what it is, a fun monster movie. Director Paul W.S. Anderson proves once more why he can bring out the best in actress Milla Jovovich, i can´t wait to see what they will do next together. Maybe a viking film here in Sweden? Hey, that´s actually a pretty good idea.

Rating: DDD

Love And Monsters

I love it when young actors surprise me, when i least expect it. Especially when you get a character that actually deliver a performance that turns out to work surprisingly good. A perfect example of this is actor Dylan O´Brien when he took on the character called Thomas, in the film The Maze Runner ( based on the book, written by author James Dashner ) in 2014. This film tells the story of Thomas ( Dylan O´Brien ) who wakes up inside an underground elevator with no memory of his identity. As he arrive to the surface, he is greeted by youths who are living in a large grassy area, simply called the "Glade", enclosed by tall stone walls. Thomas later finds out that there is only one way out of here, and that is through a maze. So far no one have survived, and Thomas will most likely not make it either. But he is determined to find a way out, no matter what he needs to do. The Maze Runner felt like a different version of Mad Max, in the sense that those films are also about survival, and in a very rough environment as well, And i have to mention that this is also a well made film, that is actually more clever than you might think. The sequel, simply called Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials was even better than the first film. Lots of action, and a lot of violence as well compared to the first film. But i also loved the fact that this sequel tried really hard to make this franchise even stronger, and that is something you don´t see very often in sequels. The final film called Maze Runner: The Death Cure was ok, i thought it did not fail as the final chapter. Maybe not as strong as the previous films, but lead actor Dylan O´Brien did a great job in the action scenes. Dylan have continued making other good films, such as American Assassin, that i actually enjoyed. I read last year about another apocalyptic film, that have no relation to The Maze Runner, and that is the film Love And Monsters. Since i am a big fan of this genre, and enjoy Dylan as an actor, does he impress me even more this time in Love And Monsters, or did he do a bad choice to make this film?

After the destruction of an asteroid headed to Earth, the chemical fallout causes all cold-blooded animals who mutate into large monsters. During the evacuation of Fairfield, Joel Dawson ( Dylan O´Brien ) is seperated from his girlfriend Aimee ( Jessica Henwick ), but promise to find her. Unfortunately, Joel´s parents are killed as they try to escape, and Joel is forced to go with a group of survivors into an underground bunker to stay safe. 7 years later, Joel is trying to live a normal life in the underground bunker. He have radio contact with Aimee, as she is the only reason why he keeps holding on to hope. One day, Joel decide that he needs to leave to go to Aimee, no matter how dangerous the world is out there.

If you enjoy films such as The Maze Runner and Zombieland, then i got good news for you. This is definetely an apocalyptic film that should fit in your taste, that takes on serious subjects, but you also get some charming moments as well. And if you were worried about bad CGI effects, i can honestly say that these monsters look pretty good ( not much to complain about ). The storý in this film is a combination of films we have seen before, but that´s ok. This film manage to bring out different elements that makes this film enjoyable. One of the things that i especially appreciate about the main character Joel Dawson, is that he is just an ordinary man. He feels the same fear as anyone, and have no weapon skills, but manage to survive thank´s to his strong will to live. The fact that they actually let the main character be this way is actually positive, because i would rather have an ordinary man as a hero, than a selfish ego tripped personality. Joel just does what he needs to do, even if it means he could be harmed. Dylan O´Brien give his character Joel a realistic portrait ( that does not mean the film is realistic, just his character as a personality ) that match well with the story of survival. Dylan have a natural way to act, and he pulls this off well in this film. We do get some nice surprises in here as well, when it comes to other actors. And i have to mention legendary actor Michael Rooker ( who i especially remember from the cult film Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer, that turns 35 years old this year, still a damn good film ). Rooker deliver once again a strong character with Clyde Dutton. He is exactly the right kind of guy you would want in an apocalypse. Young actress Ariana Greenblatt is adorable as the cool character Minnow, a young girl who clearly is more tough than most girls her age. Is there anything i would have changed with this film? Not really, i think this is a charming monster apocalyptic action film, that both have a heart and a story that works well. Director Michael Matthews manage to bring us a film that not only have something important to say, but also deliver some fun action scenes as well. If you are into apocalyptic films, i suggest you give Love And Monsters a chance. You might actually find yourself enjoying this one, just as i did.

Rating: DDD

måndag 8 mars 2021

Come Play

When i was a little boy, i remember reading comic books at night. Mostly it was The Hulk or Conan The Barbarian, but there were times when i could find a little bit more scary stuff, such as Tales From The Crypt. In my hometown, these comic books were very rare during the 80´s, so we had to get them at our local comic book store. And i especially remember one time, it must have been when i was 8 years old in 1985, the comic book owner showed me a copy of Tales From The Crypt that he have managed to get from America. He had bought in a couple of copies, because he knew they were very loved by comic book fans. They were expensive compared to ordinary comic books, but i decided to buy one. And i still remember some of the images in that comic book, how creepy some of those stories were. The comic book i owned at that time, i actually sold to a collector later on in the 90´s, and he paid good money just for one copy. The idea of being scared in bed is something we have seen in many films, such as bedtime stories being read to children, or telling them a scary story. One of the films that have managed to do this in a very effective way through a book, is the Australian horror film known as The Babadook from director Jennifer Kent. A very effective psyshological horror film about a mother named Amelia Vanek ( played really good by actress Essie Davis ) who lives with her son Samuel Vanek ( who gives one of the best acting performances i have ever seen from a child, played by actor Noah Wiseman ). Amelia is having a hard time with Samuel, since he begins displaying erratic behaviour: he becomes an insomniac and believe he have seen a monster. One night Samuel asks his mother to read a pop-up story book called Mister Babadook. Amelia see that this is no ordinary child book, and have very prutal pop-up images. Samuel becomes more convinced that the Babadook is real. This film is not only very well made, but deliver some incredible disturbing acting performances. And it is the bedtime story that really feels creepy, with the odd figure know as Mister Babadook that works so well from a horror perspective. I suggest you pick up the film on DVD or Blu Ray from the UK, and check out the special features as well. There are not many horror films these days coming out that tries to bring in the subject of bedtime stories, until i discovered Come Play on Blu Ray. A horror film from director Jacob Chase ( who directed the short film called Larry, and this is where he got his idea to make a full feature film on this creature ), that seems to have an interesting plot. Is this a horror film that should be discovered by more people, or should we let Come Play be forgotten in DVD and Blu Ray shelves?

Oliver ( Azhy Robertson ) is a very intelligent child with autism, but he can´t speak with his voice. So to communicate, he uses a speaking program on his mobile phone. Unfortunately, he have no friends at school and is bullied a lot. So he uses technology to do things that he loves to do, and this helps him develope as well. One night he see on his mobile phone a story, about a lonely figure called Larry. He have no idea how this story just appeared on his phone, since he did not download it. But as soon as he starts reading another page of the story, strange things begin to happen in Oliver´s home.

Come Play manage to do something unique, combine the classic bedtime story concept with modern technology. And this is actually a really good idea, if you want to tell a scary story with a different approach. One of the things you will find out later in the film, is that the odd figure called Larry, is actually really creepy looking. It is hard to explain what he looks like exactly, but imagine a long legged Gollum with a very destinctive body figure. There is especially one detail that is important with this film, and that is the character of Oliver, ( played by child actor Azhy Robertson ), who have autism. The scenes where he uses his mobile phone to communicate with people, show that he is no different from any other child. He can say what´s on his mind, he just uses technology to get his thoughts out. Child actor Azhy Robertson does a really good job portraying Oliver, considering this character have autism. To be able to do that as a child, is not easy. And for that reason i applaud you Azhy, well done. How about the other characters? Actress Gillian Jacobs ( thso most of you know from the comedy TV series Community ), deliver the strongest performance of the adult characters as Sarah. You can tell that she is suffering, when she sees her son struggle with many different things, both from being bullied in school, and with his personal issues. Actor John Gallagher Jr. ( who i especially remember from Cloverfield Lane ) also deliver a solid performance as Oliver´s father Marty. So how does the horror influences work together in a film like this one, that combines different ideas? I would say that they actually work better than i expected, considering that they use a book in a computer ( instead of a physical book ), and manage to capture the creepy atmosphere with this strange creature called Larry. Director Jacob Chase clearly knew how to combine the classic concept of bedtime stories, but give it a more modern touch. He also managed to create a creature that works pretty well. This is a well crafted horror film, from start to finish, that will most likely be enjoyed by horror fans of all ages. One thing is for sure, i am not reading any books online from now on, not after watching Come Play.

Rating: DDD

The Owners

Your home is supposed to be the place where you feel safe. Where you can do whatever you want, and just create the home that you love. Most of us feel that we are secure in our homes, but what if someone tries to take that away from you? What if someone wants something that you have, in your home? There are many different kinds of films that includes the idea of a home invasion into the plot, but there is one film that i feel stands out in this genre. And that is the 2002 thriller known as Panic Room, from legendary director David Fincher. A very suspensful thriller, with some really good acting performances. What made Panic Room especially so good, is thanks to the cast. First of all you have legendary actress Jodie Foster as the lead character Meg Altman, who really manage to capture the fear of being home invaded. Jodie is one of those actors who can make any character feel realistic, honest and emotional. I would definetely say that Panic Room is on the list of my favourite Jodie Foster performances. But we also have other really good performances in this film from actors such as Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam ( who gave a fantastic performance in the 90´s cult classic film Sling Blade, as alcoholic abuser Doyle Hargraves, a must see ). Another reason why this film is so good, is because David Fincher is a master at making thrillers, as he manage to make this film more clever than most home invasion films. If you have not seen this one, you should. If you can find the 3 DVD disc ( i actually have this one that i bought many years ago from the UK ), you get some nice special features included to check out. Since i usually check out most of the home invasion films that are released, i have been excited to see especially one film called The Owners. I noticed that this film have a very good cast included. The trailer looked interesting, and i finally got a chance to pick this film up on DVD from the UK. Is this one of the better films in this genre in recent years, or is The Owners a big Disappointment to me?

Young thugs Gaz ( Jake Curran ), Nathan ( Ian Kenny ), Terry ( Andrew Ellis ) plan to break into the mansion owned by Richard Huggins ( Sylvester McCoy ) and Ellen Huggins ( Rita Tushingham ), with the help of Mary ( Maise Williams ), they are going to break into their safe. The Huggins couple come home earlier than they planned, so they are forced to tie them up. What seemed to be a simple job, will soon turn into a nightmare.

The Owners is actually a bit of surprise for me. I expected a very typical home invasion film, but this film does take some chances, by letting the characters go all in. It has been a long time since i have seen an independent horror film with such fantastic acting as in The Owners, and this is the biggest reason why i really enjoy this film. The acting from the whole cast is right on spot, and each character get their chance to shine on the big screen. The plot is pretty similar to many other films in this genre, but the difference with The Owners is that this film is more focused on the powerful acting performances than on the plot, and that actually helps the film become even more interesting. Let us begin with one of the strongest acting performances in this film, and that comes from actor James Curran ( who some of you might recognize from Maze Runner: The Death Cure ) as the evil character Gaz. I have to say that this is the best acting performance i have ever seen him done so far, and he should be nominated for an award in any independent film festival. He is honestly outstanding, and i can´t wait to see what he will do next. Legendary actress Rita Tushingham ( who have been in many classic films such as Doctor Zhivago and The Housekeeper, also known as A Judgement In Stone ). If you have seen Rita in her long movie career, you know that she is really good at creating characters. And she does it again in her own unique way, in this film as Ellen Huggins. I love the way Rita makes her character look really disturbed, by the way she uses her facial expressions and dirty words. A wonderful performance indeed. The other actors do a really good job as well, but i have to mention how good director Julius Berg manage to pull all the strings together, with all of these really strong acting performances into the story. The Owners is a film for you who love psychological horror thrillers, that needs strong characters to make a powerful impact. Maybe not my favourite film in this genre, but definetely one of the best in recent years. I strongly recommend you pick up this film on DVD, or VOD, if you want really good acting. The Owners is a must see, especially if you want a powerful psychological film.

Rating: DDDD

onsdag 3 mars 2021

The Other Side ( Andra Sidan )

Sweden have a lot to offer. We have a lot of beautiful locations, we have really good food, a lot of great music bands and artists as well. But there have always been a problem in Sweden, and that is to make great horror films. There are a few that i could mention, but considering how many years it has taken to make just a few, it shows that we need directors with a passion to bring Swedish horror films back on track. I am always happy to see the few horror releases we do get, within a time period about 8 years, but with so many years between you do get the feeling that the Swedish film industry focus more on drama films and comedies. Nothing wrong with that, but if you leave out horror films then you are making a big mistake. There are plenty of talented young director´s out there all over the world, so my suggestion to Svensk Filmindustri is to give fresh film makers a bigger chance to create Swedish horror films. Now, when we think about great films in this genre from the past, there is especially one film that i think is one of the best among Swedish horror films. And that is the 2008 horror drama film known as Let The Right One In ( Låt Den Rätte Komma In ). Directed by Swedish director Thomas Alfredsson, this film tells the story of bully victim Oskar ( Kåre Hedebrandt ), a 12-year-old boy who does not have any friends, and spend a lot of time on his own. One night he meets the new neighbor girl known as Eli ( Lina Leandersson ) who is odd, but seems very nice. They become friends and spend time together, but since Eli can´t be out during daytime, they have to meet in night time. When Oskar finds out she is a vampire, he accepts that since she is his friend. Let The Right One In is a very powerful story on friendship, sadness, and dealing with personal issues. A must see if you have not seen this one. Late in October last year a new Swedish film managed to get shown in cinemas called Andra Sidan ( The Other Side ). Since i did not want to take any risks, i waited for this film to be released on VOD instead. So i was lucky to find out Swedish TV channel SVT released this film on their web page for free, so of course i had to see it. Is this one of the better Swedish horror films in recent years, or am i running out of hope for this genre in my country?

Shirin ( Dilan Gwyn ) and her partner Fredrik ( Linus Wahlgren ) move in to a semi-detatched house, together with Fredrik´s son Lucas. A fresh start and at first everything seems fine, until Shiri start hearing strange noices and seeing Lucas talking to someone who is not there. Lucas claims that he have a new friend, and Shirin still can´t see this boy. Is there something wrong with Lucas, or is there another explanation to all the strange noices?

Sweden, we finally did it. We have a great Swedish horror film here, and it is actually better than i expected. Is it as good as Let The Right One In? No, but considering how many of the horror releases that have been pretty boring over the last 10 years, i have to say that Andra Sidan ( The Other Side ) is definetely a step in the right direction. Imagine if you combined Insidious, The Grudge and many similar films together, and you have a film that definetely will please you. There is especially one thing that this film does right, and that is to find a creepy atmosphere. Especially when you see the human deformed creature, that crawls in a very creepy way. This is actually something you don´t see very often in Swedish horror films, a film that actually takes it´s horror influences seriously. And this clearly shows that directors Tord Danielsson and Oskar Mellander have taken this project seriously, and tried to give Swedish horror a bit of respect. I am grateful that they actually took some time and actually created a horror film that may find a larger audience, thanks to the influences that they combine into the story. How about the acting? I would say that most of the actors does ok, but the strongest acting comes from actress Dilan Gwyn as the character Shirin. She manage to bring out a performance that match well with the fear she is feeling, especially towards Fredrik's son Lucas being attacked by something evil. The Other Side ( Andra Sidan ) may not bring anything original to the table, but it works well as a creepy horror film. We have a reason to be proud Sweden, we finally have a horror film that should be seen worldwide, especially for fans of horror.

Rating: DDD

If you want to see the film and know the language Swedish, you can watch the film for free on SVT Play right now, i will give you the link down below:


Bullets Of Justice

Crazy times we are living in. People get offended by everything these days, and i mean everything. It is like it´s not ok to love nudity, film violence, or vulgar humour, because if you do then you are the biggest asshole of all time. But if this is the future, then it´s fine with me. I will continue to love nudity, video violence and vulgar comedy, because i grew up in the 80´s and this have always been a part of my life. Does this make me an asshole? Probably in some people´s minds, but that´s ok. You can´t be loved by everyone right ? So to all of you prude people, i will never change into one of you, that´s for sure. When ever i want to have fun, i watch over the top B movies that includes the following ingredients:

# Big guns
# Explosions
# Hot girls
# Cheesy dialogue
# Funny bad acting

If you have all of these ingredients in one film, you can´t go wrong. This is basically the perfect balance to make your day perfect. There are so many fun B movies that i could easily bring up, but i decided to focus on one specific film that i will always remember and cherish, And that is the 2011 film Manborg from director Steven Kostanski ( who also directed one of my personal favourite independent horror films known as The Void, a must see for everyone ). Manborg is a love letter to all the video violence films you remember from the 80´s and 90´s, with crazy characters, lots of action, really fun dialogue and most of all, this is a film for couples to watch. This is the perfect film to spice up your love life. How do i know? I heard from.....a cousin….about 600 miles away from me. So this must be true then, right? Manborg tells the story of Count Draculon ( Adam Brooks ) and his Nazi vampires who wants to take over the Earth. But not as long as Manborg ( Matthew Kennedy ) is around, who plans to wipe out the Nazi vampires and their leader. Everyone should pick up Manborg on DVD or Blu Ray, especially now since this film turns 10 years this year, so we all can celebrate. Last year, probably around Christmas, i was seeing people discussing online a film they have seen called Bullets Of Justice. And according to those who watched the film, this is a must see. I finally got a chance to see Bullets Of Justice on VOD. Is this the perfect way to prepare ourselves for Easter, or should you bury this film deep underground, never to be found?

It is Third World War in the United States Of America. The American government initiates a secret project code named " Army Bacon " in order to create super soldiers by inbreeding human beings with pigs. 25 years later a breed called " Muzzles " have occupied the top of the foos chain, eating and farming humans like animals. Rob Justice ( Timur Turisbekov ) is an ex-Bounty hunter working for the last line of human resistance, a group of survivors hiding in a nuclear bunker underground. Rob needs to find a way to destroy these mutated pigs, no matter what it takes.

What a perfect way to begin spring of 2021, in the company of Bullets Of Justice. This film is a really fun throwback to films such as Machete, Manborg and many other similar films, that includes extreme violence, lots of nudity, really fun acting and dialogue that you fall in love with. This is the kind of film you want to see, if you don´t care about the plot, but just want to have a really good time. And to throw in pig mutants on top of this is a brilliant idea, because who does not want to see pig mutants who loves human flesh? In many ways you can say that Bullets Of Justice pays tribute to the grindhouse cinema with this film, considering how much they feel inspired by films in this genre. And for that i thank the whole film crew, they really did a wonderful job with capturing the feeling of grindhouse influences. So what about the characters? Well, if you can accept bad acting, this film makes sure that you will have some good laughs. Lead actor Timur Turisbekov make his character Rob Justice into a combination of Lorenzo Lamas legendary character Reno Raines in classic TV series Renegade, and Sam Worthington´s character Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation. So a perfect combination, if you ask me. The best character though in this film is Raksha, played by actress Doroteya Toleva. Have you ever seen a woman in mustache kicking mutant pigs ass? No? Well have no fear, this is exactly what you will see Raksha do. She also have sex with Rob Justice, looks pretty strange seeing him make out with a woman with mustache, but i guess we are all turned on by different things, right? If you are looking for a fun B movie that does not take anything serious at all, and wants both lots of violence and sex, look no further. Bullets Of Justice is a really fun ride, that does not care what is allowed, they just do whatever they want. Director Valeri Milev ( who directed the fun zombie film Re-Kill ) give the audience all the ingredients for a cozy weekend. I feel in such a good mood now thanks to Bullets Of Justice, i might run naked down the highway naked if that´s ok. Sometimes, you got to show happiness in your own unique way.

Rating: DDDD

måndag 1 mars 2021

What To Watch This Easter? I Know Exactly What To Choose: The Legend Of Hercules ( 2014 )

Easter, the holiday weekend where we get to eat lots of great food, paint eggs, wrestle with The Easter Bunny ( that son of a bitch is strong, i might have to use a sledgehammer next time ) and try eggnog, a milk punch drink that have been around for....at least 2000 years, i think? Every year we try and celebrate easter with a dinner, except for last year. Since it was not possible in 2020, we just changed plans. This year it looks like we will not gather family either because of the pandemic, so it is good to get a good advice on what to watch on physical media ( or on VOD ).

So if you have seen the Sharknado franchise, and you have seen all the Bring It On sequels ( yes, i know what men watch when their girlfriends / wives are not at home ), my best advice for this easter is that you watch the Renny Harlin film called The Legend Of Hercules.

Released in 2014, this film was a big box office bomb at that time. But i actually see this film as entertaining, for a couple of reasons. It has cheesy fun dialogue, fun characters that take their roles too seriously, and we get action scenes that delivers popcorn fun. I will say that this is not one of director Renny Harlins better films, he have done a lot better films in the past. But if you enjoy action fantasy films, especially that takes place in ancient Greece, then this should be worth checking out. Lead actor in this film Kellan Kutz ( Yes, the same guy from the Twilight films ), may not be the greatest action hero on the big screen, but as Hercules he does deliver a good time. Not because of the acting, but in the action scenes. This film also have legendary action actor Scott Adkins as King Amphitryon, who is actually one of the best characters in this film. So why this film of all the choices? Because not many people have seen this film, honestly. And i think the biggest reason for this is because this film was not popular, people did not really care to watch it. But i think we might turn this around this easter, if people give this film a chance. So remember the title The Legend Of Hercules, and i guarantee that the eggnog will help your movie night become more fun. I hope you enjoy my advice, and have a great spring, and i will see you soon with fresh movie reviews.

Cheers from Daniel!

Here is where you can find the film on Blu Ray from Germany at a good price ( just press the used Blu Ray from MEDIMOPS choice, and you can buy a copy for each family member for a great price ), isn´t that a fantastic idea?