“Sicario 2: Soldado” trailer.

Hello there, ladies and gents. Time for some trailer talk. So here we go.

So we have our first trailer for “Soldado”, the sequel to 2015 thriller “Sicario”. So in this one we see Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) once again bringing in his contact Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to take care of business. But it seems like it’s less about cartel people this time, and more focusing on terrorism. And it looks like it’s much bigger than the first movie, going for a more explosive route. I loved “Sicario”, it’s my favorite movie of 2015, mainly due to the direction from Denis Villeneuve. I guess the actors were great too, and the cinematography and music were great, but it was Villeneuve who clearly brought the most to it. But instead of Villeneuve, this movie was directed by Stefano Sollima, an Italian director whose work I am not familiar with. But do I think this movie looks good? Kind of. It seems to lack the subtlety and dread of “Sicario”, but it still looks like it could be interesting. I’m hoping that Taylor Sheridan’s writing is good enough to shine through and make it a good movie. “Sicario 2: Soldado” is set to be released in June of 2018.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Soldado”? And what did you think of “Sicario”? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer.

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12 Films of Christmas (Part 6)

Hello there. We’re now halfway into my 12 Films of Christmas series. Time sure flies. So let’s get into this.

So I kind of cheat with my definition of “Films” for this series, but I feel like christmas specials count since they’re never part of any major arc, but rather tend to be one-off stories, making them somewhat eligible for the “Films” definition. Why did I have to make such a convoluted explanation? Because I wanted to have an excuse to talk about “A Charlie Brown Christmas” for my series. So what’s this about then? Well, it’s christmas in *wherever the hell this is set*. However, Charlie Brown (Peter Robbins) isn’t feeling the christmas spirit as he’s disgusted by how commercialized christmas has gotten. So this is really about him trying to find the meaning of christmas. All while he has been chosen to direct a christmas play featuring all the other kids… and Snoopy (Bill Melendez, R.I.P) of course. I haven’t seen this since I was like seven years old. And revisiting it I am actually loving it more than I did back then. I think this might be because I understand some of the critiques that Charlie Brown has about christmas and it’s rampant commercialization (a sentiment I share with him). It’s actually really clever and fascinating in that sense. I also of course love the animation. It’s simple, but it has a lot of charm to it. And the humor is so good in this too, especially the stuff from Snoopy who just steals every scene he’s in. Really, this holds up incredibly well and I highly recommend watching it, whether you’re a “Peanuts” fan or not. It’s great (and available on youtube!).

What do you think about “A Charlie Brown Christmas”? Who’s your favorite “Peanuts” character? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one.

Movie Review: It Comes at Night (2017)

Survival. Something we all experience in our lives on various levels. A lot of us have it very easy, since we have homes and can pay bills to get heat and such in them. Then we have others who live on the streets or out in the woods, struggling to find supplies or shelter to survive. And one day we might all be in that type of situation if we’re unlucky.

Ladies and gentlemen… “It Comes at Night”.

The world has gone to shit. A mysterious threat has made it very hard to live out in the world. To keep himself and his family safe from this threat, a man (Joel Edgerton) has isolated himself and his family in a very secure house in the middle of nowhere. And we follow them as they try to survive. And I know what you’re thinking… sort of. And I want you to take your expectations, and throw them out of the fucking window. This is an unusual little horror plot, relying more on dread, paranoia, and slowly building tension rather than jumps and disturbing imagery. Sure, there is a little bit of disturbing imagery in the movie, but it’s not the focus on this. It’s a slowly burning psychological horror movie, and I thought it was very riveting. from the very first frame I started feeling a great sense of unease. Tense, bleak, dramatic, harrowing. Yeah, this is a great plot. Again, throw those expectations out… this is far from whatever you could imagine.

The characters here are layered, understandable in their motivations, likable, interesting, and I found myself caring about all of them. I’m not gonna go in-depth with all of them, as I feel they’re best experienced, since my explanation of them could ruin the interesting discoveries one might make about them. But I can at least say that every actor here (including people like Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.) does a fantastic job, there is no weak link in the cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Brian McOmber and I think he did a great job. His score is dark, tense, eerie, and helped to create some truly uneasy and even kind of scary moments throughout the film. It’s truly one of those scores that helped elevate the movie.

This movie was written and directed by Trey Edward Shults and I think he did a fantastic job. His direction here is tight tense, and never lets the feeling of unease go away. He makes us feel the same kind of paranoia as the characters in this movie, and that makes it feel a whole lot more immersive. And the cinematography by Drew Daniels is stunning, and makes perfect use of light and darkness to make you feel uneasy and even scared at times. Don’t expect your typical kinds of scariness here, this is a wholly unique type of horror.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“It Comes at Night” is highly unusual, and I think it’s much better for it. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “It Comes at Night” is a 9,86/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “It Comes at Night” is now completed.

If you’re interested in watching the movie, then don’t watch any trailers. And like I said earlier… throw those expectations out.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 5)

Time for part 5 of my 12 Films of Christmas series. And what better option now that the snow is here.

Snow. Magic. Rankin/Bass. That’s right, today we’re talking about 1969’s tv special “Frosty the Snowman”. When a magician’s hat lands on a snowman, it makes the snowman come to life. This snowman (Jackie Vernon) then goes on an adventure with some children to find the north pole so he doesn’t melt. All while the magician (Billy De Wolfe) is chasing them to get his seemingly magic hat back (’cause he’s a greedy fucker who just wants money). So is this any good? I think that if I was five or six years old, I would love this. But watching it for the first time as a 20-year old… yeah, it’s not great. It’s okay. The animation, while a bit awkward at times, is pretty good. Rankin/Bass clearly put effort into turning this classic christmas song into a 25-minute long short. I’m sure at least one person reading this might have nostalgic feelings for it. But I personally think it’s just okay. If you have a young child, then you could put this on and he/she would probably be entertained by it.

What are your thoughts on “Frosty the Snowman”? Is this something you’re nostalgic for? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 4)

Ho ho holy shit, it’s the fourth fuckin’ part of this god damn series of mine. So let’s get into it.

Are you a bit of a Grinch? Need something with a little less holiday cheer than most other christmas movies? Then “Bad Santa” is for you. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is a drunk, foul-mouthed, horny mall Santa who only does the job so he can pull off a heist at the mall with his partner Marcus (Tony Cox). And one year during their routine heist planning, Willie “befriends” a kid (Brett Kelly), and that complicates things a bit. As you probably gathered from the introduction, this isn’t exactly your typical holiday movie. The main character is a miserable drunkard who steals shit… at christmas time! And for those of us who get a bit tired of the usual “Lalala, christmas and magic and happiness”, it is a perfect thing to mix it up a bit. Billy Bob Thornton is fantastic as Willie, the titular naughty Claus. He gets the foul-mouthed, drunk, pervert character across flawlessly and it makes for something quite unique for a christmas movi. Tony Cox as his partner Marcus is terrific. They play off of each other very well. Brett Kelly is great as this innocent, naive, slightly stupid kid, and his relationship with Willie is a blast to watch. Then we have Lauren Graham as a woman that Willie forms a bit of a relationship with, and there’s something inherently funny about Lorelai Gilmore having a bit fetish for Santa Claus. Then we have the scenes featuring John Ritter and Bernie Mac, both gone way too soon. Seeing these polar opposite characters have a conversation is fucking hilarious and probably the highlights of the movie for me. I seriously miss them both, rest in peace, you awesome people. “Bad Santa” is an incredibly mean-spirited christmas comedy that I highly recommend to every person out there. Grinch, christmas lover? Doesn’t matter! “Bad Santa” is awesome.

What do you think about “Bad Santa”? Do you think we need more cynical holiday movies in our lives? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments, I’d love to know what you think.
Have a good one.

Movie Review: Shot Caller (2017)

Don’t commit crimes, kids. It’s bad for you.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Shot Caller”.

Jacob (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) used to be a successful businessman, but that started changing after getting thrown in jail because of a DUI. And he soon starts getting involved with the gangs inside of the prison, turning him from a successful business person and loving father, to a stoic and ruthless gangster. And I thought the plot here was pretty good. It’s told in a semi-non-linear way, in that it jumps between past (ending up in jail) and present (out of jail) and shows how Jacob changes over that time, and I thought that was quite interesting. And overall there is some decent tension throughout the plot, as well as some pretty good dramatic moments spread throughout. My problem with it is that I felt like the pacing dragged at times. I’m fine with a movie that can move at a somewhat slower pace, but this at times just decided to drag it’s feet rather than move at a decently steady pace. It’s not a constant ass-drag, but it is noticeable in parts. So overall the plot here is pretty good.

The characters here are pretty good. Some more interesting than others. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays the main character Jacob (or Money as he’ll be known as later). Seeing his progression from good-natured businessman and loving father to this cold and ruthless gangster is endlessly fascinating. And you can tell that even when he’s become this cold gangster, he’s a bit conflicted, like there’s still good in him. And Coster-Waldau is great in the role. Then we have Jon Bernthal as a guy called Shotgun, one of the gang members that Jacob gets to know. As the movie goes on we get to know some interesting things about him that makes him feel a bit deeper than a lot of other ones in the movie. And Bernthal is great here. Then we get Emory Cohen as Howie, a young man who’s part of Jacob’s gang. And he gets some interesting development here. And Cohen is really good in the role. Then you get some really solid supporting performances from people like Omari Hardwick, Evan Jones, Benjamin Bratt, Lake Bell, Jeffrey Donovan, Holt McCallany, and many more. ’tis a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Antonio Pinto and I have mixed feelings about it. There are some great tracks here that are very well composed and work to elevate the scenes that they’re used in. But then there are some tracks that aren’t particularly well composed and feel distractingly out of place in certain moments. So at best I guess the score could be summarized as okay.

This movie was written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh and I think he did a pretty good (there’s that phrase again) job with it. Scenes have a decent flow and have a decent amount of tension to them. And while this isn’t an action movie, when the shit does hit the fan it is badass, exciting, and violent as fuck. And the cinematography from Dana Gonzales looks good.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Shot Caller” has flaws, but it’s still a good movie. It has a pretty good plot, pretty good characters, great performances, okay music, and good directing/cinematography. My flaws are that the pacing drags at times, and some of the music is kind of distracting in how it doesn’t always work. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Shot Caller” is an 8,51/10. While flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Shot Caller” is now completed.

They might as well rename it to “Cops, Crooks, and Facial Hair”.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 3)

Time for the third part in my 12 Films of Christmas series. So let’s get into it.

What if you’ve been raised as something/someone you’re not your entire life? This is pretty much the central theme of christmas comedy “Elf”. Buddy (Will Ferrell) is a human who has been raised on the North Pole as an elf his entire life. But when he finds out that he’s actually a human whose father lives in New York City, he decides to travel to the big apple to find his true father and learn about what he truly is. And this is a fun movie. Light, fluffy, and not particularly deep, but it’s still a good amount of fun. And I do have to admit that there were some laugh out loud jokes here. But most jokes were pretty much just chuckle-worthy. It’s one of those movies that I don’t think I’ll watch every year, but I did have fun with it. Will Ferrell was enjoyable as Buddy. He’s a childlike, energetic, and very naive man, and Ferrell delivers it all flawlessly. James Caan as Buddy’s biological dad was good. Ed Asner was a great Santa Claus. Jon Favreau’s direction is energized and whimsical and makes it an easy watch. I have no nostalgia for this movie, so I don’t really have the same warm and fuzzy feelings for it that some others do. But I enjoyed my time with it and I do recommend it if you just want something fun and warm-hearted to watch this holiday season.

What do you think about “Elf”? And what’s your favorite Will Ferrell role that isn’t this? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 2)

As I promised earlier, here’s the second part in my 12 Films of Christmas series. So let’s get into it and see what Santa has brought us this time!

So for my second choice I’m going with a bit of an out of left field choice. This is “Batman Returns”. So what’s the plot? It’s christmas time in Gotham City and everyone’s preparing up to have a jolly good time. However, things take a strange turn when two mysterious figures called The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) show up and start causing trouble. So it’s up to Batman (Michael Keaton) to find out what their plans are and then stop them. Don’t be surprised that I managed to squeeze a Batman movie into this series, you knew it would happen somehow. But this is truly a christmas movie, as plenty of christmas stuff pops up both in the forefront and background of the movie. But more importantly, do I like this movie? Yeah, I do. Sure, it’s (pun intended) batshit crazy, and there are things about it that I’m not the biggest fan of. But there is still enough good stuff here to make it a highly enjoyable movie. Tim Burton returned (pun intended… again) to direct this movie after his 1989 smash hit “Batman”, and you can tell here that this is a Tim Burton movie. Dark yet playful imagery combined with an epic yet odd Danny Elfman score makes this one of Tim Burton’s Tim Burton-iest movies (before he found Johnny Depp). Keaton is of course once again fantastic as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Pfeiffer is strange and sexy as Catwoman, and Danny DeVito is one fucked up Penguin… but it somehow works in this strange world that Burton has established. And Christopher Walken as Max Shreck is one of the most delightfully slimy performances I’ve ever seen. It’s a dark movie, but it’s still a lot of fun and definitely something that can and probably should be put on during the holidays.

What do you think about “Batman Returns”? Did you like the darker tone that this had compared to the already dark “Batman”? Please, leave any and all thoughts on this movie in the comments, I’d love to hear your opinions on it.
Have a good one.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 1)

Hello there! You might be asking yourself “Markus, what the hell is this?”. Well, for the past two years, in the 12 days leading up to christmas (December 24th) I have had a series of posts where each day I talk about a christmas song. I’ve had a lot of fun talking about christmas music here, and I’ve gotten some good comments from people about it all, whether it would be because they already liked the song or if it’s a new one to them. However, this year I decided to do something slightly different. For 2017 I wanted to talk about films (big and small) where christmas is featured. Of course, I missed making my first post yesterday (because “Star Wars”), so you’re getting two of these today as compensation. So, let’s get into part 1 of the 12 Films of Christmas.

So for the first one we talk about something that has become quite a christmas tradition, especially in the United States. I am of course talking about Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the 1966 version). To be completely honest with y’all, I had never actually watched this until today. I had only caught small snippets of it in movies, TV, and internet videos. So I thought now was a good a time as any to finally watch it and see what all the fuss is about. So for anyone not aware, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is about a green creature known as The Grinch who absolutely hates christmas, and then cooks up a plan to try to steal the christmas joy from the people of Whoville. So then The Grinch’s shenanigans ensue. Did I like this? Yeah, it was alright. I obviously have no nostalgia for it since I never watched it as a kid. But as an adult I can watch it and appreciate it for what it is; A fun and innocent little short film about the christmas spirit. Boris Karloff provides the narration and also voices The Grinch here, and his delivery of everything is just perfect. Also, having the distinct designs of Dr. Seuss combined with the direction of animation legend Chuck Jones makes for some wonderfully creative and energized animation that kept me entertained. And that’s really it, it’s entertaining at best. I have no deep feelings for this since I watched this for the first time today, but I did enjoy it and can see why people love it so many years after it’s release. Really, it’s an easy and pretty fun watch if you have half an hour to kill.

Are you a fan of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”? How old were you when you first watched it? Feel free to tell me any and all thoughts in the comments below, I’d really like to hear what you guys think.
Have a good one.

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

I really don’t have to make up a clever intro for this… it’s fucking “Star Wars”, so let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.

Set more or less immediately after “The Force Awakens”, the story follows Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she has found Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and intends to be trained in the Jedi arts by him. Meanwhile, Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), Leia (Carrie Fisher, R.I.P), and the rest of the Resistance try to fight off the First Order. So now we have our plot. And is it good? Yes. It asks questions, it answers questions, and it dares tackle some dark subjects that haven’t ever really been talked much about in previous “Star Wars” movies. It is a for the most part a great fucking plot. I say for the most part, because there’s a section of it that, while entertaining, didn’t really do much. Sure, it had a reason to be there (sort of), but in the long run it felt a bit more like filler rather than a sensible plot thread. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the plot, but it does bring it down from near perfect to pretty damn good.

The characters here are layered, entertaining, likable, and entertaining. Daisy Ridley returns as Rey, the new hero of the franchise. She’s still kind of naive in how she wants to learn the force and bring back the Jedi order and such. And while naive, she’s still tough, determined, and just so cool. And Ridley is fantastic in the role. John Boyega returns as Finn, the Stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter. He’s funny, he’s cool, he’s charming, and he can be a badass when he wants to. And Boyega is still great. Oscar Isaac returns as Poe Dameron, the best damn pilot in the Resistance. While he didn’t have too much to do in “The Force Awakens”, he got a lot more to do here and he gets a good amount of character development (surprisingly so). And Isaac is fantastic in the role. Mark Hamill returns as Luke Skywalker (and he actually gets to speak this time!). You can tell that he’s older, damaged, and a bit more cynical than he used to be, but he’s still Luke Skywalker. And the stuff they do with him here are pretty great. And Hamill is fantastic here. Adam Driver returns as Kylo Ren, the conflicted force wielder. In the first movie his motivations could feel a bit vague when you step back and think about it, but here you get a much clearer picture on that stuff, and he gets some great development here. And Driver is great in the role. Carrie Fisher (may she rest in peace) returns as Leia, the leader of the resistance. She’s a badass, but she’s also older and not as energetic as she used to be. And she does get some solid dramatic moments throughout. And Fisher is great in the role. Domhnall Gleeson returns as General Hux. He’s over the top and a little bit goofy, but I forgive that as it works for me in this crazy galaxy. So yeah, Gleeson is good(?). Andy Serkis as Snoke… slightly underdeveloped, but it’s definitely a sinister performance. So yeah, great Serkis. New people! Kelly Marie Tran plays Rose, a Resistance mechanic that gets involved more than she would’ve expected after something happens. She’s tough, she’s charming, and she’s cool. And Kelly Marie Tran is really good in the role. Then we have Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo, a high ranking woman who gets brought into the fight. She doesn’t see completely eye-to-eye with certain crew members, giving her an interesting dynamic within the movie. And Dern is great in the role. That’s it for now, as I don’t want to get too in-depth here. But expect some solid supporting performances from people like Benicio Del Toro and Billie Lourd.

The one and only John Williams returned to do the music for this movie, and it’s fucking amazing. Whereas the score to “Force Awakens” was really good, it didn’t bring much new to the table and never stuck out much to me, “The Last Jedi” then picks up the orchestra and says “Let’s make some epic and emotional music that the audiences will love”. And really, the score here is absolutely fantastic.

This movie was written and directed by Rian Johnson and he did a fantastic job. He gives this movie and incredibly unique vibe while still making it feel like “Star Wars”. His direction is sweeping, intimate, and filled with all kinds of epicness to it. And the way he directs action makes it feel heavy-hitting and like there are some actual stakes to it. When the movie wants you to feel like someone/something’s getting it’s shit kicked in, the movie succeeds in doing that. It’s also tons of fun and incredibly badass to watch. This is also a visually stunning movie. Johnson’s direction combined with Steve Yedlin’s cinematography makes this one of the most gorgeous “Star Wars” movies, possibly even rivaling “Rogue One” in that regard. There are seriously shots in this movie that took my breath away with how stunning they were. And yes, the visual effects are fucking amazing, no doubt about that one. And there’s a good amount of humor here, and I laughed quite a bit. Really, this movie is surprisingly funny.

This movie has barely even been released, but so far it has gotten some positive reception (keep in mind that these scores will change as time passes, but I refuse to edit along with these changes). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10.

Is this the best “Star Wars” movie? No. But “The Last Jedi” is still a great fucking movie. It has a damn good plot, great characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography/action/effects. I guess my one flaw with it was that one bit I eluded to earlier, though it isn’t a total dealbreaker. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 9,57/10. So it gets the “PORG OF APPROVAL!”.
ladda ned

My review of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is now completed.

Rest in peace, Carrie Fisher. You are still severely missed.