Movie Review: Mad Max (1979)

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I know, I know, I am a bit alte in the game when it comes to the “Mad Max” franchise. But hey, better late than never, right? Anyway, time for another series of reviews based on a movie franchise. And this time it is for (if it wasn’t obvious already) “Mad Max”. So I will try to review all original movies before “Mad Max: Fury Road” comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. And yes I know, I am not done with my series of “Jaws” reviews, but I swear that I will get that done soon enough. But for now, let’s talk about the first of a series of Australian movies.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mad Max”.

The world has almost gone to shit (that’s a new one). There is still a little bit of order left in the world with police officers still existing to keep everything in control. In this movie we follow officer Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) who have to take up arms again to try to take out a motorcycle gang to avenge his wife and son. That is basically the plot in a nutshell, strange thing is that it doesn’t happen until fairly late in the movie (mild spoilers I guess). Not that the plot is slow, not at all. The plot moves at a really good pace, it’s jsut so weird that the main plot of the movie comes in at such a late point. Anyhow, the plot is really good.

The characters are prety good I guess, it just seems like no one is completely sane (SIdenote: I guess that is why they call it “MAD Max”). How is the acting then? It’s fine at best, no one gives really a noteworthy performance in that sense. I guess the best one comes from Gibson who actually is really good in the movie. However, everyone else is at best fine. The bad guys however (for the most part) are rather meh. I think the actors confused crazy for weird and awkward. Because the main bad guy (Sidenote: The one called “Toecutter” played by Hugh Keays-Byrne) doesn’t really give that great of a performance here. Like I said, I think he confused crazy and psychotic with weird and awkward. And that kind of drags it down a bit for me. Gibson’s really good though, so that’s something!

The score was composed by Brian May, no, not the guitarist from Queen, but an Australian man who did music for a bunch of Australian movies. Anyway, it was good, definitely a product of it’s era. You notice that this music was composed back in the 70’s, it has the sort of 70’s action-thriller style. I don’t know how to explain it better, that is the only way I can explain it. And it was pretty good, fit the movie well enough.

When you watch this movie, would you expect it to come from the same guy that directed “Happy Feet”? Because I sure as shit didn’t. Because this is a violent and weird movie that is as far from a movie about cute dancing penguins as possible. Anyway, this movie was directed by George Miller who did a great job with directing this movie that apparently was on a very thin budget. The shots look great and he did an overall great job. And the action in the movie is really cool too. They did a lot of crazy stunts with the vehicles and I love seeing these types of real stunts because we never get them these days. Fuckin’ CGI…

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Mad Max” is a mixed bag of stuff. The story is good, the acting is for the most part fine with Mel Gibson being really good and the main bad guy not being that great, the music is fine, the action/stunts are great and the direction/camera work being great. Time for my final score. *Australian Phrase*. My final score for “Mad Max” is an 8,77/10. I think it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Mad Max” is done.

He’s a very, very Maaaaad Max…

 

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Movie Review: The Untouchables (1987)

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I don’t know why, but modern American history is incredibly interesting to me. And by modern American history I basically mean everything within the 1900’s. What mainly interests me are all the crime stories, especially the gangster-related ones. I have no idea why they interest me as much as they do, they just happen to do so I guess. And that is what I think fuels my love for gangster movies. So let’s review a gangster movie, shall we?

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Untouchables”.

So in this movie we follow Federal Agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) as he puts together a team of non-corrupt cops to find a way to legally take down gangster boss Al Capone (Robert De Niro) during the prohibition era. Simple premise, excellent execution. The plot lends itself to show some genuinely great drama and surprisingly good storytelling thanks to the premise being as simple as it is. What is also great about the plot is the pace, this movie moves at a pretty great pace. I never experienced it to be slow at all, I would even dare to say that it was pretty fast. And I liked it!

The characters in this movie all feel like real people… probably because a bunch of them are real people portrayed by actors. Examples: Eliot Ness was a real man who formed a real team called “The Untouchables”. And as you all know, Al Capone existed and was a ruthless gangster. Most other characters are fictional but still based on some men who existed back then. Anyway, how were the performances in this movie? Top notch, I tell you! Kevin Costner was great as Ness, Sean Connery stole the show (just like in “The Rock”) as old and wise police officer Jim Malone, Charles Martin Smith was great as his character, Andy Garcia was great as his character and Robert De Niro was fantastic (as always) as Al Capone. Everybody was great.

I don’t even have to mention how great the music is. You should know that I loved it. Why should you know such a thing? Because the score was done by none other than Maestro Ennio Morricone who might be my favorite composer of all time. But yes, he did the score and it is amazing. Next topic!

The shots in this movie look great, the camera work is great, it is a great looking movie. Thank you for doing that Brian De Palma! Now if you oculd direct a good movie again, that would be great! Now, instead of ripping on poor Mr. De Palma, let’s talk about something good from this movie: The action. The action in the movie is visceral, brutal and awesome. Whenever an action scene happened in the movie I cheered because the action scenes are just straight up awesome. Also, if you hate violence then you don’t want to see this movie. In fact, stay away from anything that Brian De Palma has directed if you don’t like violence in movies.

This movie has been very well-received over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor (Connery). It was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best set decoration, Best costume design and Best Original Score. 

“The Untouchables” is a very touchable movie that I think everyone should touch. I know, that sounded weird but trust me, it makes sense soon enough. The story is great, the acting is great, the music is great, the direction is great and the addition of the action is something I really liked a lot. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “The Untouchables” is a 9,89/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“The Untouchables” is now reviewed.

Can’t touch this…

 

 

Movie Review: The Score (2001)

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I have proclaimed my love for heist movies more than a few times on the blog. A lot of movies from “Heat” to “Fast Five” interest me because of the heist stuff. And therefore I always look forward to watching another heist movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Score”.

Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) is a former thief who now runs a jazz club in Montreal. But his retirement has to be pushed back even further because of his old friend Max (Marlon Brando) teaming Nick up with young thief Jack Teller (Edward Norton) who has a plan to steal a scepter that have been found. So of course Nick unwillingly accepts Jack’s offer to try to steal the scepter. Okay, the premise is cliché as all hell, but as you know i am a person who thinks that if a cliché is done well, it doesn’t matter. And I’m gonna be quite honest, the clichés in this movie work perfectly to create a good heist story. And I was honestly surprised at some of the twists the movie had to offer. Yeah, I really enjoyed it.

The characters in this movie never stopped being entertaining (in my opinion), they were consistently well-written and entertaining. I think it also helps a lot that the actors were fucking phenomenal in their respective roles. Robert De Niro played the character of Nick Wells with a lot of confidence and even a bit of regret to have to do one more heist. Marlon Brando (despite limited screen time) was also great. And Edward Norton, once again giving us a winning performance that we can all look up to. I really mean it, he is truly great in the movie. Everybody was great in the movie, even the supporting cast.

The music was composed by none other than the masterful Howard Shore. You know, the guy who composed “Se7en” and the “Lord of the Rings” movies. And while the score for “The Score” (That is hilarious) isn’t as great as any of those, he still did a great job here to create a soundtrack that at times sounded like typical heist-movie music, but also at times create suspenseful and straight up great tracks for other scenes. And I loved it all. Again, not as much as in “Se7en” or “Lord of the Rings”, but I still loved it.

Frank Oz directed this movie and I have never seen a Frank Oz movie before. So if you know any great Frank Oz movies, please let me know. Anyway, he did a great job directing this movie. He made it look great and be very stylish which really made me appreciate it even more. Something I was surprised by was jsut how tense it could get as times. Like during the big heist itself, the hair on my arms was standing and my heart was racing during parts of the heist. And I like that, it is rare for me to find a movie with that level of tension.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“The Score” is a heist movie that uses it’s clichés to it’s advantage to create an interesting take on the heist movie. It has a really well-done story, great characters and acting, great music, great direction and surprising level of suspense. Time for my final score. *Steals envelope*. My final score for “The Score” (again, hilarious) is a 9,88/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

“The Score” is now reviewed.

Okay, bye bye!

Movie Review: Escape from New York (1981)

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Raise your hand if you like 1980’s/1990’s action. Okay, now let’s all sit down and relax… good. And while you sit down and relax, let me review a 1980’s action movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Escape from New York”.

The year is 1997 (Hey, the year I was born!) and the USA has gone to shit. Because of ultra high crime-rates, the entire city of New York has been turned into a maximum security prison. Then one night, the US president (Donald Pleasence) crashes into the giant city and gets captured by crazy people. So then a police chief named Hauk (Lee Van Cleef, R.I.P) decides to send in criminal & manly-man Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) into the city to go in and save the president. The idea I personally think is great, turning a familiar environment into a hostile and dark place for the sake of entertainment… genius. Problem is that for some reason I never really felt invested in it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea and the pacing was very good, but I jsut didn’t feel that invested into it. So let me put it like this, the plot was good, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should’ve.

The characters in the movie are colorful, entertaining and Kurt Russell decided to try to do his best Clint Eastwood impression. And you know what? All those factors come together so well that I can’t really criticize it. Sure, it’s cheesy but it is also incredibly fun and entertaining. Kurt Russell in this movie is really good in this movie as the macho manly-man Snake Plissken. Is he cheesy with the Clint Eastwood voice? Yes, but I still enjoyed it a lot. And I can’t help it, whenever I see Lee Van Cleef on screen in a movie I just have to smile… I love that guy. And Ernest Borgnine is a million flavors of fun in this movie as well. Every character in this movie is entertaining and every actor does a great job.

Fun fact: the score for the movie was done by none other than the director, John Carpenter. And it is the typical synth-based sci-fi/thriller soundtrack that you would maybe expect at the time. Not that it’s a bad thing, I did rather enjoy the music in the movie. It fit in very well and was used to really good effect.

Like I said, this movie was directed by John Carpenter who delivered a very well-directed and tense style to the movie. However I feel like the movie could be a little brighter because a large amount of the time it was difficult to see. I’m not saying that it should be really bright and happy and colorful and such, I am just asking for it to be a little brighter so I can see the action going on. That is anotehr thing, the action… it’s fine. Nothing special, it’s fine action.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert never made a review of it. But it does exist on imdb.com at least and has a score of 7,2/10. Weird, the movie only exists on two of my regular sites…

“Escape from New York” is a decent action movie with a pretty good plot even though I wasn’t very invested in it, it had fun characters, good music and good direction despite being a bit too dark. Time for my final score. *Cough* My final score for “Escape from New York” is an 8,88/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Escape from New York” is completed.

If you look closely at the plot, you’ll notice that this movie definitely inspired parts of the game “Batman: Arkham City”.

Movie Review: Run All Night (2015)

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Liam Neeson has become quite the action star in recent years. I mean, who ever thought “God… It would be so awesome to see that guy from “Schindler’s List” do an action movie”. But ever since “Taken” in 2009, he has become one of the biggest action stars of the modern age. So let’s review another one of his action movies.

Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest you… “Run All Night”.

So in this movie we follow ex-hitman Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) who one night kills the son of his old boss/friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) to protect his own son (Joel Kinnaman). Now Jimmy and his son have one night to try to set everything straight while being chased by Sean’s mobsters, a police officer (Vincent D’Onofrio) and a hitman (Common). The idea is pretty great because it constantly keeps our heroes on the move, they can’t get any rest, they have to keep going to not die. What the plot also does pretty great is make you feel “I’m not sure if they will succeed or not”, it constantly keeps your attention with it’s suspense and and surprisingly good storytelling. Problem however is that there is at least one point in the movie where they have a few too many irons in the fire and everything becomes convoluted. But I was never bored, I was entertained by the plot through the entire thing.

You know what I was surprised by with this movie? The depth of the characters. I’m not kidding, these are some pretty deep characters. Liam Neeson doesn’t play your typical “I have a very particular set of skills” action star that you see in every movie these days, in this he is a very broken man, a drunk who’s haunted by all the deaths he have caused. Sure, he kicks a ton of ass in the movie, but he isn’t the superhero he’s been in everything else he’s starred in recently. Joel Kinnaman was also pretty great in the movie. This is probably the best I have seen him in anything (Sidenote: Keep in mind that I haven’t seen the TV-show “The Killing). He was fine in “RoboCop”, nothing else. Ed Harris was pretty great as always, I mean he is Ed Harris… he’s always great! And Common was pretty great as this professional hitman going after Liam Neeson and his son. Every actor did a great job and all the characters were interesting.

The score for the movie was done by Tom Holkenborg (Sidenote: Also known as “Junkie Xl”). And the score was pretty great, fitting perfectly in every scene it was used in and help keep the suspense/tension of the situations our heroes endured. It was also surprisingly emotional at times without feeling forced. The score overall was great.

This movie was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the same guy who directed “Non-Stop”, also starring Liam Neeson. And this movie is very well-directed. The shots look fantastic, the movie has tons of energy & style and it is just an overall great looking movie. And the action scenes in this movie are pretty great too. They are fierce, they are brutal and they are Rated-R (YEEEEES!!!). The only action scene I had problems with was (minor spoiler) a car chase, and that was mainly because the editing was a little too choppy for me to really get invested in it. If it hadn’t had as many cuts as it had, I would probably enjoy it more than I did. All othe actions scenes are pretty great though.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 60% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Guys, I had a great time with “Run All Night” despite the plot being convoluted at times and the car chase being choppy. But I otherwise thought the plot was pretty solid, the acting/characters great, the music great, the direction terrific and the action badass and awesome. Time for my final score. Jeff, give me the envelope. Jeff, give it to me! Jeff, I have a very particular set of skills, skills that I have aquired over a very long career. Thank you! My final score for “Run All Night” is a 9,21/10. It really is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Run All Night” is completed.

I don’t know if I can Run All Night.

 

Movie Review: Hang ’em High (1968)

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You guys already know that I love westerns, I have said it so much that it has almost wore thin. So let’s just start the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hang ’em High”.

In this movie we follow rancher Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood) who one day when moving his cattle gets hung by a bunch of men. Problem is that they hung an innocent man, they also didn’t finish the job. So when he ís taken to a town, he once again becomes a lawman (Sidenote: I forgot to mention, this rancher is an ex-lawman). That’s right, he picks up the badge again to find the men who did him wrong and then bring them to justice. You know, so he can… hang ’em high (Roll Credits). It is really a simple revenge tale with a conspiracy-based twist which I will not spoil because I thought it was pretty good. What I didn’t enjoy that much was a romance sub-plot which arrived later in the movie. It felt shoehorned in and unnecessary. The plot overall was fine.

It’s Clint Eastwood in a western, of course he is good in the movie. Sure, he is not as good as in “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. But to be fair, that movie came out seven years after this one. But yeah… he was good. Every actor was in fact good and did good jobs as their characters. There’s really nothing more to it here.

The score for the movie was done by Dominic Frontiere and it was pretty good. While not as good as any of Ennio Morricone’s scores, this one still holds up. The tracks fit the movie and they all work to keep the desired mood for each scene.

Seeinf as this is a review for a western, it is time to give a warm welcome back to the segment “Gunfights”. So how were the gunfights in this movie? Limited. There weren’t that many. But those we got were good. They weren’t that intense, lengthy or badass as in a lot of other westerns, but for what they were they were good.

This movie was pretty well-directed. It was directed by Ted Post who I have never seen anything from. But he showed with this movie that he knows how to make a shot look good. Huh… I can’t think of anything else to say here in the “General Stuff” segment. That’s a bummer. Uhm… help.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com 7,0/10.

“Hang ’em High” is a western that is just good. It really is nothing special in either way. The story is fine (romance felt tacked on though), the performances were good, the score was good, the direction was good, the gunsights were good… it’s just good. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hang ’em High” is an 8,72/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

“Hang ’em High” is reviewed.

I am conflicted…

Movie Review: The Thing (1982)

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You know what’s weird? Ever since I saw “The Shining” about a week ago, I feel more open to watching horror movies. I guess it is because since I finally saw a good horror movie I have hope in finding more ones. So let’s review a horror movie that has been on my watchlist for quite some time.

Things… “The Thing”.

In this movie we follow a bunch of scientists that work on a research station in the Antarctic. But then on one day, something strange happens. And by strange I mean a murderous alien that can shapeshift into any person/animal invades the place and they will have to stop it. What I like about this plot is that you never know who the “Thing” is. It is a detail that keeps you guessing as to who it is through the entire movie. It will also keep you on the edge of your seat because of how scary that shit is. Come on, not knowing who the monster is… that is terrifying. And I like that!

The characters are pretty entertaining. Sure, they aren’t that fleshed out, but they at least keep you entertained. What is pretty great here though is the acting. I couldn’t find any weak performance. And in my opinion, I don’t think Kurt Russell has ever been this good in anything (in anything that I’ve seen at least). Wilford Brimley (before his diabeetus) is also great in the movie. And I was glad to see Keith David in the movie, I just love that guy. And I swear, this movie contains the single greatest dog performance ever. That’s right, Lassie ain’t got shit on the dog here! As a matter of fact, every actor was great in the movie. And I think some of it came from the fact that the set was chilled down to 40 degrees fahrenheit to actually make it seem like a cold place.

Here is one of the most surprising things about the movie, the score was done by none other than Ennio Morricone. You know, the same guy that has done the music for about EVERY WESTERN EVER! Okay, not EVERY western, but a lot. But while I was surprised to see his name attached to this movie, I thought the score for the movie was pretty great. it helped hold the already excellent suspense, but it also helped raise the tension of any more (in lack of better words) action-y situation. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since this is the same man that made a five minute staredown epic and suspenseful… hmm.

This movie was directed by John Carpenter who also directed the original “Halloween” which is the only movie of his I had seen before this. I have also not seen “Halloween” in a few years, probably should. Anyway, getting off topic, uhm… oh yeah, “The Thing”. Yeah, John Carpenter directed this movie and he did such a great job with it. The shots look great and the cuts are magnificently edited in. And this movie has some of the best creature effects/prosthetics I have ever laid eyes on. Not that I would want to lay my eyes on them because these effects are some of the most disgusting ever… still great though! Also, did I mention that this movie is terrifying? Because it is.

This movie when first released wasn’t that well-received. But over the years people have opened up more and more to it. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it got an 8,2/10 and is ranked #164 on the “Top 250” list.

Guys, “The Thing” is a disgusting movie… but it is pretty awesome with a suspenseful and scary story, great performances (yes, even the dog), excellent music, terrific direction and some fantastic visual effects. Time for my final score. Jeff! Envelope now! Thank you! *Jeff flips Markus off*. Yeah, fuck you too! My final score for “The Thing” is a 9,86/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “The Thing” is completed.

“The Thing”, “The Stuff”, what’ll they think of next?

Childhood Movie Blogathon: Markus’ Picks

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GUYS… Hello. Today I am doing something a bit different. In this here post I will do a list (sort of). You see, about a month ago I decided to sign up to take part in a “Blogathon”, held by my friend (sort of) who hosts the blog http://letsgotothemovies7.com/ (Sidenote: Check it out, it is awesome!). Well she decided to start this Blogathon where anyone could take part and share some of their favorite childhood movies and maybe see if they hold up to this day. And now I here you asking “But Markus, why not do singular reviews of the movies first and THEN compile a list?”. Well my reasoning is that this is my list and that means I can do whatever the hell I want.

Rule #1: Same as always: My list, no bitching allowed.
Rule #2: These are movies I watched as a kid, if there is a movie you think could have been added to the list then it was probably not a movie that I watched back then.
Rule #3: This list will be in no particular order, I will just put my picks here and tell you if I think it holds up or not.
Rule #4: As I am writing this, I am eating watermelon and will announce every time I have finished a slice.

So here we go… Some of My Favorite Childhood Movies.

Number 1: Space Jam (1996)
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Plot: Michael Jordan agrees to help the Looney Tunes play a basketball game vs. alien slavers to determine their freedom.

Undoubtably a silly and somewhat stupid premise, but at the same time it is somewhat intriguing. This is a movie I watched more than I probably should’ve during my childhood. But I did it because I had fun with it, “Space Jam” was a really fun movie. One of the main reasons I actually watched it was because I am a big fan of “Looney Tunes”. Anytime an episode was on TV, I had to see it, I loved them that much. Even now I love them. So seeing them back then in a movie about basketball really got my attention. So for the first time in many years, I put the tape in the VHS player and watched the movie.

What held up: The seamless blend of animation and live action, a fair amount of the humor, Bill Murray in a supporting role, camera work.

What didn’t hold up: Michael Jordan’s acting, the Harlem Globetrotters’ acting, some of the humor, the “sexy” bunny.

Overall: 7/10.

First watermelon slice is eaten.

Number 2: Spy Kids (2001).
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Plot: The children of secret-agent parents must save them from danger.

Intriguing, kids who must become secret agents to save their parents, who I must remind you are highly trained agents(!), who get captured by Alan Cumming with a strange bathrobe. Okay fine, if you go by that strange aspect of the story, it is still an interesting idea for a child-friendly action movie. I remember first watching this in our (mine and my parents’) old apartment together with my mom and her friend (who also happened to be my babysitter). I remember loving it and being just wowed by it. So let’s pop in the VHS and see if it still works.

What holds up: The mystery and twist, the action scenes (surprisingly), the two main kids and their chemistry, some of the humor, the parents, Danny Fuckin’ Trejo, The slice of watermelon I just ate.

What didn’t hold up: Some of the acting, a lot of the CGI, the small amount of gross-out stuff, some of the humor.

Overall: 6/10. However, this slice of watermelon gets a 9/10.

Number 3: The Lion King (1994)
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Plot: Tricked into thinking that he caused the death of his father, a lion cub flees and abandons his destiny as the future king.

Sooo, “The Lion King”. I kind of remember when I first saw this movie, I remember I was 4 and wow, that was 14 years ago! But still, I remember being scared half to death by this movie when I first saw it, so it took another year or so for me to watch it again. Then it took about 13 years for me to watch it again because I am stupid like that. But now… does it still work? I know this watermelon does.

What holds up: The heartfelt and timeless plot, the voice acting, the music, the animation, the villain (Go, Jeremy Irons!), the humor, the drama.

What didn’t hold up: I could seriously not find a single thing here.

Overall: 10/10.

Number 4: Scooby-Doo (2002)
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Plot: After an acrimonious break up, the Mystery Inc. gang are individually brought to an island resort to investigate strange goings on.

I have been a huge fan of “Scooby-Doo” my entire life, as in the character Scooby-Doo. I watched several “Scooby-Doo” cartoons as a kid, I could not get enough of Scooby and the gang. Then a live action movie came out. I was of course intrigued as a kid and yes, I was also excited about it. So my parents bought it when it came out on VHS and we watched it. And now it was time to watch it again. Right after this final slice of watermelon.

What holds up: Some of the references to the old cartoons, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, the music.

What didn’t hold up: The plot, most of the acting, the script, the visual effects, the fact that Scrappy-Doo is in this movie, the humor.

Overall: 3/10.

Number 5: Star Wars (1977).
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Plot: Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire’s world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

What? I watched this as a kid, I have a right to have it on my list.

What holds up: It’s fucking “Star Wars”.

What didn’t hold up: Seriously, this is fucking “Star Wars”, it’s perfect!

Overall: 10/10.

Number 6: Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (2001).
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Plot: Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

That’s right, I am going with the original british name for it! Because that is what it actually is supposed to be named and because it sounds more cool and mystical. “Sorcerer’s Stone”… stupid.

What holds up: The plot, the visual effects, a lot of the acting, the costume design, the music.

What didn’t hold up: Some of the acting (the child actors only).

Overall: 9/10.

Number 7: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).
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Plot: A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her young son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg, made out of liquid metal.

Yeah… didn’t expect to see “T2” on this list, did you? Well let me give you my backstory on this movie. I was in 5th or 6th grade (so about 11 or 12 years old) when my friend/classmate walked up to me and started talking about this great movie he have seen called “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. I was intrigued. So like a few days later when I was just skimming through the TV channels, I ended up on a channel that actually played “T2”. So I watched it. And I liked it. A few years later it was on TV again and I decided to watch it because I didn’t remember that much of it. And i liked it. Then I watched it again like two months ago… so did it hold up?

What holds up: The surprisingly deep plot, the deep characters, the great acting, the great writing, the visual effects, the spectacular action scenes, the suspense, the excellent debut of Robert Patrick.

What didn’t hold up: Couldn’t find anything. Not even in the director’s cut of the movie.

Overall: 10/10.

So those were some of my favorite childhood movies and how they (in my opinion) held up. And again, please go check out http://letsgotothemovies7.com/ because that blog is awesome! Also, don’t forget to tell her that Markus said hi!

Have a good one!

My Top 13 Favorite Superhero Movies

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Hey guys, once again it is time for a Top 10 (not really). And by Top 10 I mean Top 13 because I felt like I couldn’t exclude some of these. I was thinking “Hmmm, I need to make a new Top 10… but what kind?”. Then I remembered that “Ant-Man” is coming out this year (And for those of you who have al ready gotten it, we here in Sweden don’t get it until wednesday). And that made me think about superheroes. So to commemorate “Ant-Man” coming out, let’s talk about my favorite Superhero movies of all time(ish).

Rule #1: This rule should be a given at this point; this is my list so if you don’t agree with it, you have no right to bitch and moan about it.
Rule #2: Keep in mind that the title says “Superhero Movies”. This means that is can really be anything about a superhero, the movies doesn’t need to be strictly based on comic books. It also means that “Guardians of the Galaxy” won’t be on the list because that is a space/sci-fi movie and not about superheroes.
Rule #3: Only one movie per series. This means that I might only have ONE “Iron Man” movie or only ONE “Captain America” movie. This limits the list a little bit. However, reboots don’t count since they aren’t really part of the same series.
Rule #4: Keep in mind that I haven’t seen every superhero movie ever. So you will not see movies like “The Crow” or “Blade” or “Megamind” on this list.

Now that the rules are out of the way, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… My Top 13 Favorite Superhero Movies!

Number 13: Superman (1978)
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The oldest movie on the list. This is one of the first superhero movies ever made that actually worked, no the 1966 “Batman” and his shark-repellent does not count even though it is fucking hilarious. No, this is the movie that showed that superhero movies could be made and be good. The only reason it isn’t higher is because I have really not seen this movie since I was like 10, but I do remember liking it. So that is why it is on the lowest spot.

Number 12: Watchmen (2009)
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When this movie came out it got incredibly mixed reception. A lot of people enjoyed it, a lot of people hated it. Me? Well as you may have perceived, I liked it. Do I think it’s perfect? Not at all. For one, it feels a little too long for it’s own good. Second of all, too much blue dick! But despite my problems with the movie, I still enjoyed it a lot for it’s cool action scenes, fantastic soundtrack and Jackie Earle Haley’s performance as Rorshach. He was fantastic in the movie.

Number 11: V For Vendetta (2006)
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Remember remember the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason Should ever be forgot. The poem of Guy Fawkes and his attempt to take down the parliament with explosives. And then V (Hugo Weaving) comes in with a Guy Fawkes mask and has a plan similar to Fawkes’. A very thought provoking movie with a lot to say. It is also the last movie that the Wachowski’s had a hand in before they lost their fucking minds (Sidenote: I have not yet seen their show “Sense8” which I have heard is pretty great). But this is an excellent movie featuring a genuinely fantastic performance from Natalie Portman and a poetic/surprising turn from Hugo Weaving.

Number 10: The Incredible Hulk (2008)
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I hear how people are going “Wait, is this asshole putting that almost forgotten Hulk movie over the poetic beauty of “V For Vendetta”? What the hell?”. And from that I point you towards rule number 1. But yes, I put this above “V For Vendetta”, and that I will explain why. Long time followers will think I did it because I am an Edward Norton fanboy… and you might be right, but that’s not my reasoning. See, where “V For Vendetta” is a thought provoking and poetic masterpiece, I put “The Incredible Hulk” above it because it is just a fun movie. I really like the action scenes in this movie, they are awesome. And like my old followers probably assumed, I love Edward Norton in this movie, he’s great (as always).

Number 9: The Incredibles (2004)
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Second movie with the word “Incredible” in the title and the first one to not be based on any comic book. That’s right, at number 9 we have the Pixar animated movie “The Incredibles”, directed by Brad Bird who also made “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” which was a good action movie. This movie is fun, it has interesting characters, the animation is terrific and it is perfect for the entire family(ish). What’s not to like?

Number 8: Batman Begins (2005)
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I swear, someone will break rule number 1 because of this spot. You know… since people seem to love “The Dark Knight” so much over this movie. But if you remember when I did my “Top 10 Batman Movies” list, I ranked this above “The Dark Knight”. And that is why this movie is on this list. It has a great plot, great direction by Christopher Nolan, great performances (except for Katie Holmes), and it broguht Batman back from the dead after that failure that is “Batman & Robin”. Let me just tell you my biggest issue with all of Chris Nolan’s Batman movies; Batman’s voice, it just sounds silly. Okay, moving on.

Number 7: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
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That’s right, I like “Age of Ultron” more than the original “Avengers”. Wazzup, motherfuckers! Just kidding, I love you. But if you wanna bitch, go to someone else’s blog because this one is protected by the first rule. But yeah, this is a sequel that I actually enjoyed more than the original. To me, this was more fun and had a much faster pace than the first movie. And Ultron was an amazing villain, mostly thanks to the excellent script and the charismatic performance by James Spader.

Number 6: Iron Man (2008)
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What? I said “Only one movie per series”. Not “One movie per cinematic universe”. So “Iron Man” goes on this list. Mostly for being cool, innovative, fun, great and for starting the MCU. Also, AC/DC music.

Number 5: Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008)
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While based on a series of comic books, this is the only movie on the list not coming from either DC or Marvel. But we don’t need those two corporate giants to make a good superhero movie, because “Hellboy 2” is fucking awesome! Directed by Guillermo Del Toro who is an amazing visual director, this movie stars Ron Perlman in his second outing as the titular character, trying to save the world. And I got a message for you Hollywood… PLEASE GIVE US A HELLBOY 3!!!

Number 4: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
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A sequel that is so much better than the original that it is absolutely crazy! This movie took everything that was good about the first “Captain America”, and improved on it. Only downer is that there is no Hugo Weaving. But everything else in this movie is amazing. It also never breaks pace, this is an intense, action-packed movie with a pretty good spy-thriller twist on it. Also, this movie has ROBERT REDFORD! MARVEL GOT ROBERT FUCKING REDFORD ON! HALLELUJAH!

Number 3: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
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I guess 2014 was a good year for comic book movies. “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past”. This movie marked the return to the franchise of director Bryan Singer who hadn’t made a great movie since 2003 when “X2” came out. But when he made this, holy shit he made something fantastic. “Days of Future Past” had the action you wanted, the drama you needed and the humor to keep the movie fun. While I love “X2”, this might actually be my favorite “X-Men” movie of all time. Also, that scene with Quicksilver… amazing.

Number 2: Batman (1989)
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Remember what I said about reboots not counting as being in the same series as earlier movies? Yeah, that is why I could put this movie so far up here. And if you go back and check my “Top 10 Batman Movies” list, you’ll notice that this is my favorite Batman of all time. And that is because this, to me, is a perfect movie. I love absolutely everything about this movie. Sure, the music by Prince is a little distracting, but it doesn’t ruin the movie for me. I still love this movie A LOT. It’s fun, it’s dark, it has Jack Nicholson, it is motherfuckin’ “Batman”!

Number 1: The Matrix (1999)
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This might to some people be my strangest pick for this list. I mean, since all other movies relate back to superheroes in a more direct way. This doesn’t really touch on it that much, but ultimately made it to the list. I was actually debating with myself about putting this movie on the list or not for a while, then I watched Watchmojo’s video “Top 10 Superhero Movies Not based on Comic Books”. That is what ultimately made me put the movie on the list. This is a superhero movie at heart, even though it doesn’t clearly show at first. But to me it is still a superhero movie and my faovrite superhero movie of all time.

So what are your thoughts? What is your favorite superhero movie? Leave a comment and let me know.

Have a good one!

 

 

 

Movie Review: The Shining (1980)

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Stephen King is an interesting author. His bibliography is such a mixed bag of genres and stories that it’s incredible. Now to be honest, the only books by King I have read are his “Dark Tower” books, so I don’t know much about his writing (Sidenote: The “Dark Tower” books are fucking amazing, go read them). I am however interested in what he has to offer. So let’s review a movie that is based on one of his books, but apparently deviates a lot from it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Shining”.

In “The Shining” we follow writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who moves into a hotel with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd) over the winter to get some quiet solitude/inspiration for his writing. But things aren’t as normal as they may seem. Something is strange about this hotel, something that makes Jack lose his mind and begin both verbally and physically attack his family. And I will not say more about the plot because of how excellent it is and it is rather easy to get into spoilers. But what I can say is that the plot of the movie is very well-written, incredibly suspenseful and it messes with your mind at any point it can. The amount of twists and mind-bending plot-points really work for the movie and they all make you doubt your own sanity.

The characters in this movie are pretty interesting. Sure, they are all messed up in some way, but they are at least interesting. Let me also explain why they are all messed up. Jack lost his mind and became violent (he has also hurt his son once), Danny seems to have some strange ability and/or psychological issue. And Wendy is messed up because she is played by Shelley Duvall who looks like she was left in the washing machine for too long. I know, that was mean, but you know it’s true!

This movie uses an interesting mix of songs for it’s soundtrack. It uses both a few original tracks by Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind. Then we have a lot of “classic” tracks by a few composers whose names I will not write out here, go search for them. Anyway, all of the tracks used in the movie are great and really help set the creepy and often disturbing mood that the movie has.

This movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick (R.I.P) and it is gorgeous to look at. The shots are some of the best I have ever seen. Sure, “A Clockwork Orange” looked great too, but this movie is just pure eye-candy. I especially love the scenes where the camera continuously follows Danny on his little Tricycle, those scenes are just amazing to look at. They are also pretty impressive considering this movie came out in 1980. But I guess Kubrick was just ahead of his time. This is also one of the few movies that has legitimately scared me… yeah. You see, I don’t easily get scared. Mostly because I don’t consider jumpscares actual scares. I have also not really found any movie that scares me. The only really scary movie I had seen before this was “Requiem For A Dream” and that isn’t even a horror movie.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and added it to his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #58 on the “Top 250” list.

“The Shining” is one of the few horror movies I actually have enjoyed (and gotten scared by). It has an excellent story, great performances, tense and atmospheric music and some of the most fantastic direction I have ever seen. Time for my final score.  JEFF! WHERE ARE YOU!? *Breaks door*. HEEEERE’S JOHNNY! But seriously, give me the fucking envelope so we can be done with this. Thank you. My final score for “The Shining” is a 9,88/10. IT definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“The Shining” is now reviewed.

I’m not gonna hurt you, I’m just gonna bash your brains in!