12 Films of Christmas 2019 (Final Part)

We’re finally at the last part of this silly series of mine. It’s been fun for me to contrive reasons for non-christmas movies being christmas movies. And since we started this series with “Star Wars”, we might as well end it with “Star Wars”. *Checks title*. Oh god.

*Deep fucking sigh*. The “Star Wars Holiday Special” is a 1978 CBS tv movie somehow following on from George Lucas’ 1977 smash hit. It’s about the family of Chewbacca, and how they’re waiting for him to come celebrate the holidays with them. And as the creators try to fill out a 90 minute runtime, before that happens, we experience a whole bunch of different skits and music videos supposedly set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. That’s right, it’s a variety show, including people like Art Carney, Bea Arthur, and Jefferson fucking Starship. So let’s get contriving.

Now, right off the bat I imagine you calling humbug on this, since it’s called “Holiday Special”. But let me clear something up, this isn’t about christmas… or hanukkah… or kwanzaa. It’s about Life Day. What’s Life Day? Fuck if I know, it’s some weird wookie holiday made up for this fever dream. But it’s not any actual holiday, so it goes. So what’s my contrivance then? Well, I could use the excuse of it being about a family get-together, which would be the easy way out so I could get this done quickly. But I’m gonna use something else.
So as mentioned earlier, this “Star Wars” thing is inexplicably a variety show, which is contextualized as things that Chewie’s family puts on through various monitors. And none of it is interesting or makes much sense… just like tv programming around the holidays. Sure, on occasion you might catch a decent flick (or in this Special’s case, a Jefferson Starship number), but for the most part it’s just a weird hodgepodge of stuff.

As you probably gathered from this post, I was not a fan. Christmas eve should usually be all about joy and love, but I guess I felt like a bit of misery was in order too.

Happy holidays.

12 Films of Christmas 2019 (Part 1)

Season’s greetings, ladies and gents. Alright, enough of that holly jolly shit, let’s get down to business. For a few years now, I’ve had this series on my blog where I do twelve shorter pieces starting on December 13th, leading up to December 24th (AKA the date where us in Sweden primarily celebrate christmas). First two years, I did christmas songs. The next two, I did films. Now, for this year, I’m doing films again. However, I’m throwing a monkey in the wrench this year… I won’t use actual christmas movies. Instead I’m just using 12 movies, and I have to contrive a reason as to why I’m mentioning them in a christmas series. Gotta find some way to switch up the monotony, you know. So without further ado… here we go.

As you probably guessed from the image at the top, I am starting this series off with a classic of sci-fi/fantasy cinema. “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”, released in 1980, sequel to the 1977 super surprise hit “Star Wars”. It once again follows Luke, Leia, and Han (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford) as they battle against the sinister galactic empire. Most of you probably assume that my contrivance for this is the first act of the movie, which is set on the snow-covered planet of Hoth. And while that adds to it, it’s not my main motivation (twist, motherfuckers). But for my contrivance to work, there will be spoilers. So if you haven’t seen “Empire Strikes Back”, then you’re either lying or you’ve lived under a rock for the past 39 years. So if you don’t want spoilers, go watch it, then come back. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Dramatic exaggeration of my long wait.

Welcome back. Now, spoilery contrivance time. If you’ve seen this movie, you should know that it’s all about bringing friends and family together, which is also what the holidays are about. First things first: We see Han get reunited with his old buddy Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). It seems slightly tense at first, but then there’s a hug and laughter and offers of refreshments.

And then there’s the family reunion. Later in the movie, we have Luke meeting the spooky looking Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones). They scuffle a bit, Luke gets disarmed (HA!), and that’s when the classic line happens. No… I am your father! Got chills when I rewatched it yesterday, it’s still great. And isn’t it nice to see a boy and his father get reunited? Sure, it’s a bit awkward at first, but somewhere down the cockles of your heart, there’s still a bit of holiday heart warmth to it.

“Empire Strikes Back” is not only a fantastic movie, but also a nice, heartwarming movie about awkward reunions with friends and family. Perfect holiday analogy!

Have a good one.

 

My Star Wars Story

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen and potential space aliens. Today I wanted to do something a little bit different. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and with today (the 4th of May) being Star Wars day, I thought now would be as good a time as any to do it. I’m about to share with you my Star Wars Story. No, not my pitch for a spinoff movie for the franchise, but just my experience(s) with “Star Wars”. Where it began, where it went, and where it is. So let’s just jump into it.

For the cave dwellers who just found out about the outside world, “Star Wars” is a franchise started in 1977 by American director George Lucas with it’s first installment… “Star Wars” (I refuse to call it “A New Hope”). The movie was a smash hit, making all the money, and becoming one of if not the biggest franchise in all of history with sequels, prequels, spinoffs, novels, video games, toys, tabletop games, sex toys (yes really), and so much more. “Star Wars” has pretty much taken over the cultural world, and it’s influence can be felt throughout most media. With that out of the way, time for the bit I originally promised.

The year was 2003. Or 2004, I am a bit unsure on the exact year. But I was six years old. I went to the store with my dad to get some groceries. When we were getting close to the register I had a look at the magazine shelves, which of course both had magazines and a few comic books. I noticed a “Donald Duck” comic there with a weird and interesting cover, and with some odd toy following along with it. I (like the greedy little shit I was) asked dad if we could buy the comic, and he said yes. So it came along with us, and when we got home I asked what this weird stuff with the cover and the toy was. He explained that it was “Star Wars”, and the toy was a small, plastic lightsaber. I, not having seen “Star Wars”, asked what “Star Wars” was. He said it was a movie, and then he went to a shelf and picked up a VHS tape. That tape of course being “Star Wars” (recorded from a TV airing). He sat my butt down, put the movie in the VHS player, and I say for two hours and was in awe of everything I saw. I was engrossed by the music, the characters, the visuals, the visual effects… it was absolutely amazing. It was like having an epiphany. Then of course “Star Wars” became a big thing for me. Luckily for me, we had “Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of the Jedi”, and “The Phantom Menace” (shut up, I was a kid) recorded as well, so I had more movies to watch afterwards.

Few years later, and thanks to the TV and also my friend, I got to see “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” as well (shut up, I was a kid). “Star Wars” was a huge part of my life. I watched all the movies that I could and I played several of the video games. This was more than just some silly sci-fi franchise to me… it was a huge fucking part of my life. As I got slightly older I began seeing the ups and downs of certain parts of the franchise. Most notably was when my friend showed me the animated “The Clone Wars” movie at his place once. I could tell that it wasn’t great. But I also didn’t care fully, because I was simply in love with this franchise.

Another few years go by and I am in high school (around 17 years old). Something has happened. While I haven’t fallen out of love with “Star Wars”, I just haven’t had the same kind of obsessions about it as when I was younger. Admittedly I also didn’t exactly watch the movies much around that age, making my love fade a bit into the background. It’s more or less just gathering dust at this point. Then November 2014 comes around and we get our first trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Now, regardless of your opinion of that movie, you can’t deny that the hype was massive when it was first officially unleashed upon the world with that trailer.

This was big. The first new “Star Wars” movie in nearly ten years (“Clone Wars” doesn’t count). And that’s when something in my head kinda clicked. This franchise that I had grown up with was coming back. A new movie to look froward to… something that I almost never had the privilege of as a kid. It was such a huge thing. My love started reigniting. But there was still something missing…

Skip ahead to late 2015, and “Force Awakens” is finally coming out. I watch it opening night with several friends. That’s when it truly clicked into place for me. The first was the lighter being used. But this was the lighter igniting the candle. It was a great experience. And of course it was made clear that we were getting even more movies in the series. We got the franchise back (and helped it in making all the money), and we were gonna get more movies. It was quite an exciting time to be a fan of this franchise.

So now we go into the present. What are my current thoughts on it all? I still love “Star Wars”. Are we getting close to over-saturation in terms of movies? Maybe a little, but I still look forward to seeing what this franchise will give us. New movies, new games (admittedly from the wrong publisher), new novels, new comics, new shows… so much “Star Wars”. It’s even more stuff for us older fans, and some new, introductory stuff for newer fans who came in through “Force Awakens” and such. It’s really the perfect time to be a “Star Wars” fan. You got your old stuff, and you’re getting some new stuff.

Speaking of “Star Wars”, here’s a link to an episode from last year of the We Have a Hulk podcast (friends of mine) where I, together with some other cool people, take a “Star Wars” quiz. You get to here arguing, voices, noises, and just a bunch of people having fun. I had a lot of fun doing it.

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/wehaveahulk/episodes/2017-05-04T16_49_05-07_00

And that’s about it. I really just wanted to give you my story on how I got acquainted with this amazing franchise, as well as just gush about “Star Wars” in general. So yeah… May the fourth be with you.

Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

I know that I’m late with watching/reviewing this, but hey… Better late than never. So shut up… let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Blade Runner 2049”!

Set 30 years after the first movie, we follow a Blade Runner named K (Ryan Gosling) as he works a case. And during this case he stumbles upon a really old secret that will lead him onto a dangerous quest to find former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) and hopefully get some answers. And once again we have a deep plot that at first just sets up an intriguing mystery, but soon also starts to ask questions about humanity and what makes you human or not… like the first movie. But while it does pose some of the same questions as the original, it isn’t really anything like it. Sure, it’s a familiar story with some similar themes, but it mostly does it’s own things, feeling like a proper, expansive continuation rather than a retread of the first movie. I should also mention that it is quite slow-paced, which will put some people off. But for me it worked, taking it’s time to develop the story and it’s developments. The plot here is unpredictable, tense, emotional, philosophical, filled with twists and turns, and I absolutely loved it.

The characters are layered, flawed, and really interesting. Also, forgive me if I’m a bit brief with some of these descriptions as I don’t wanna spoil too much. Ryan Gosling plays K, our protagonist.  Like Deckard before him, he’s a Blade Runner, and while Blade Running he stumbles upon the plot. Within the first couple minutes you get a good feeling that he is a bit of a troubled man, and he goes through a lot of emotions through the movie as he learns more and more. And Gosling is great in the role. Robin Wright plays K’s boss, a tough and smart lady. And Wright is great in the role. Ana de Armas plays Joi, the girlfriend of K. She’s a likable and kind-hearted lady that we quickly learn something interesting about. And de Armas is really good in the role. Then let’s talk about Harrison god damn Ford who returns in this as Rick Deckard. When we meet him you can tell that he’s damaged on the inside after stuff that’s happened in his life (both during “Blade Runner” and between both the movies). He’s grumpy, troubled, and tired. And I have to say that Harrison Ford was great in the role, giving one of his best performances ever. Jared Leto plays Niander Wallace, the menacing creator of the newest Replicants. He’s our villain who is suitably weird and menacing, and Leto is really good in the role. Really, all actors in this movie range from really good to great, brief appearance or lengthy role. ’tis a very well acted movie.

The score was composed by Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch and it is absolutely amazing. It manages to emulate the stuff that Vangelis composed back in 1982, while also doing enough things differently to make it stand out. Yes, the synth sounds are still there, but there are also a whole bunch of modern touches to it as well, making it a very epic, emotional, tense, and exciting score that is a feast for the ears. Also, there are a couple of licensed tracks used throughout (which came as a surprise), and they were used well in their respective scenes. Yeah, this movie had some solid music.

Ridley Scott was supposed to originally direct this, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. So instead Denis Velleneuve took over the reins. And holy crap, he did a fantastic job. His directing here (as with most of his movies) is sweeping, taut, suspenseful, and thought-provoking. And let’s not draw this out for too long, Roger Deakins’ cinematography is absolutely fucking spectacular, and if he doesn’t win the Oscar for Best cinematography, then I will get furious and stomp around the house (too lazy to riot). Seriously, this is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at. And the mix of practical effects and CGI here is seamless, it all blends together so well that I never questioned what I was looking at. This feels like “Blade Runner” while still updating it a bit. And for those wondering if there’s any action here: There are a couple of action scenes, but they’re few and far between. That said, when they happen they are awesome. Violent and hard-hitting, but awesome.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #61 on the “Top 250” list.

“Blade Runner 2049” exceeded all my expectations (which were decently high), and turned out to be one of the best sequels of all time. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Blade Runner 2049” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Blade Runner 2049” is now completed.

This further cements my mantra “Villeneuve can do no wrong”.

We now have a trailer for “Blade Runner 2049”!

New trailer, better talk about it!

So it seems that we now have a trailer (or teaser, but fuck that) for “Blade Runner 2049”, the sequel to the amazing 1982 sci-fi movie starring Harrison Ford. So what is this trailer about? Well, it has Ryan Gosling walking…. and walking… and walking. Until he finds a huge building, and in there he finds Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). And that’s it. We also get some narration from Ford and some gorgeous footage of the future. And really, there’s not much more to it… and that’s what I love. Give us a taste of the tone/vibe of the movie and nothing else. We don’t have to see everything that will happen. This trailer is a perfect example of how to advertise a movie! Now, I didn’t expect a trailer to be out this soon, but I’m not complaining. It’s a great trailer and I am happy that we got it now. It’s like an early christmas present. I’m just really surprised that we got it this soon. Oh well, they’re probably gonna fuck it over with some other trailer later on that shows way too much and ruins it all for us. But let’s stop being pessimistic, and talk about something slightly more positive. I was not excited for this movie at all, the original “Blade Runner” (or at least the “Final Cut” version) is a sci-fi masterpiece, and I never wanted a sequel to it. But after the crew was revealed and then also after seeing this trailer, I am kind of excited about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna completely throw myself at it, but I feel a little bit more confident in it now. “Blade Runner 2049” is set to be released in October of 2017.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited about “Blade Runner 2049”? And what do you think of the OG movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

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Guys, we are finally here… the final part in my series of “Indiana Jones” reviews. I apologize for it being a bit later than expected though. I had planned to release it on Monday, but I got really sick so I wasn’t able to do anything. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday I chose to just relax and recover from the rest of it. But now I am feeling well and ready to review the movie for you… so let’s end this damn series, already.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.

Indy (Harrison Ford) is back aaaand he’s old. This time he goes on an adventure where he has to find the mysterious Crystal Skull. On this adventure he has teamed up with a young man named Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) to do this. He is also always in the sights of a bunch of Soviet soldiers (No Nazis? That’s kinda refreshing) and their dangerous leader, Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett). And the plot in this movie is, it is… it’s… I don’t know what to say. There is a MacGuffin… but there are also a few small twists on the “Formulana Jones” as I’ve decided to call it. I don’t know how to talk about the plot anymroe without going into spoilers… it’s kind of weird. I can say that I didn’t enjoy the plot as much as in the previous three films, but I didn’t think it was offensively bad either.

Where the plot might lack some in enjoyment for me, I think the characters almost make up for it. Harrison Ford is still great as Indy, even though it had been almost 20 years (Jesus tapdancing Christ) since he had played the character last time. He gives a really good performance as Indy, even managing to portray that Indy had aged quite a bit. He also still has that awesome smirk that I just love. I know that Shia LaBeouf is made fun of a lot these days for being… weird (to put it gently), he isn’t too bad in this movie overall. His performance is just fine, it’s the writing he got that isn’t really too great… it’s not very good. If only they had written him a little better, I wouldn’t have any problem with him at all. Cate Blanchet: beautiful woman, great actress… odd villain. I’m not saying that she’s a bad choice, au contraire, I love the idea. Her performance is still good, and she works fine as the villain I guess, even though I don’t find her particularly intimidating like Toht in “Raiders” or the Kali Ma guy in “Temple”. Then we also get some good supporting roles too, such as that of Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Karen Allen (welcome back). Jim Broadbent is also in this movie.

The score for this movie was just like in the previous three, composed by the one and only John Williams. And again, it is great. Let’s face it, John Williams is a masteful composer of music for films, and the “Indiana Jones” movie have some of his best tunes ever… even if I think his best song might be the “Jurassic Park” theme, but that is a story for another day… NEXT PART.

Steven Spielberg decided to come back to direct this fourth installment of the franchise and I guess he did a good job. I mean, his direction overall was pretty good, it’s Steven fucking Spielberg we’re talking about… but there is a thing that prevents me from appreciating it as much as I should… This movie looks fake as shit. CGI here, CGI there, CGI EVERYWHERE! There is also a shit-ton of green screen, not very well implemented if you ask. It all looks so artificial that I was actually groaning when I watched the movie. Sure, some of teh visual effects looks fine… but a lot of shit just looks… BLEH! Sure, there are a few actual sets in the movie as well, and they look terrific… props to the people who put those together. But the action in the movie (while ridiculous) is actually pretty good. Ford still gets to kick a bit of ass in the movie, and LaBeouf gets to have some fun himself… except for that “Tarzan” bit… *Shivers*. But there’s also some pretty good humor in the movie to help try to balance it out… *under breath* god damn it, Lucas…

This movie has certainly gotten some mixed reception by people and critics alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The story is averagely enjoyable, the characters/acting I enjoyed, the music is great, the directing is, but the CGI/green screen isn’t that great… at least the action and humor is pretty good. Time for my final score. *DUN DU DUN DUUUUN*. My final score for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is a 7,45/10. While not one of the better movies in the series, I’d still say that it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “Indiana Jones and the Kingomd of the Crystal Skull” is now done.

I still have one more “Indiana Jones” related post planned in the future, so look forward to that. Other than that… I am done with these movies (on my blog, that is).

 

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

lastcrusade

Time for the third part in my series of “Indiana Jones” reviews. So I guess it’s time to just stop with these formalities and just get on with it.

Ladies and gents… “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.

Indy (Harrison Ford) is back… again. He is looking for another MacGuffin… again, but this time he is looking for the holy Grail. He is also trying to find his missing father (Sean Connery). He also have to avoid being killed by nazis and death traps and I am starting to see a pattern here. Yes, all of the movies have the same basic plot and that might bug some people… but I don’t mind. I find the plots engaging, entertaining and interesting. So yeah… I like the plot.

The characters in this movie are just all kinds of entertaining. Harrison Ford still knocks it out of the park as Indy, there is no other way of putting it. Sean Connery is fantastic in the role of Indy’s father. But here’s the best part… Ford and Connery has some of the best chemistry I’ve seen in any movie ever. I totally believe their “father/son” relationship, which is kind of funny considering there’s only 12 years between the two actors. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover and River Phoenix (R.I.P).

The score for this movie was (like the previous two) composed by the one and only John Williams who again managed to make an absolutely fantastic collection of tracks that perfectly fit the film they’re used in. Seriously, the music’s great and there was never any doubt about it.

Steven Spielberg directed this one as well and once again he did a great job, the shots are great and everything is terrifically done. What I can add here is that I think this movie might have the best action scenes in this franchise. They are fast-paced, well shot, very real and simply fun. From the opening scene with young Indy & the train, to the tank, to the… everything. This movie is constantly moving, never really a minute passes by without SOMETHING happening. It’s an incredibly fast-paced movie that just blew by. It’s also a very funny movie, most of it being the banter between Ford and Connery.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10 and is ranked #103 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best sound effects editing. It also got an additional 2 nominations in the categories of Best sound and Best original score.

Guys, this is a really fun movie that has a good plot, great characters/acting/chemistry, great music, great directing and great action. Time for my final score. KALI M- wrong movie. My final score for “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is a 9,90/10. It does most definitely get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is now completed.

Ya know, after my discovery in the plot department I feel like a certain post is in order (at some point).

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

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So now it is time for the second part in series of “Indiana Jones” reviews which pretty much started on pure accident. But here we are, and we’re gonna have a good time.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is… “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.

Indy (Harrison Ford) is back for another adventure, however this time he isn’t looking for MacGuffins in the desert. Instead he is looking for it in a jungle… let me elaborate. Indy is in India, and after having escpaed death at a party he ends up in a small Indian village where the villagers ask him to go to a palace and find their (supposedly) magic stone. But he isn’t gonna go on this advnture alone, oh no! With him he got his little sidekick named Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) and a singer named Willie (Kate Capshaw). And honestly, one should not expect the most original of plots from this movie, but all we can at least hope for is a well executed and entertaining plot. And I would say this movie has it. There are no real twists or big revelations to be found, but there is a lot of enjoyment to get from it and I feel like that is the thing that counts. The plot was entertaining and I feel that it was overall pretty good.

Where the story was good and felt very natural in it’s style and execution, the characters… less so. Indiana Jones is still a great character and Ford is as great, if not even better in this second installment. It’s when we get to the supporting characters that we start experiencing some… less than stellar stuff. Short Round as a character kind of works because he gets shit done and actually helps out throughout the movie, even though his voice is terrible (mainly because he shouts everything in such a high-pitched voice). But Willie… oh lord, Willie. She is a useless piece of shit that doesn’t do much other than scream and whine. The few times she actually does osmething useful is because Indy basically tells her what to do, and she then does it… reluctantly. Willie sucks. The bad guys are pretty cool though, an evil cult who use voodoo an’ shit.

The music for “Temple of Doom” was composed by John Williams who as you msot likely know, also did the score for the first movie too… and for “Star Wars”… and “Jaws”… and “Jurassic Park”… and “Schindler’s List”… and what I am saying is that I’m derailing this train because I love John Williams. So you can suspect that I loved the music for this movie.

It’s not often you see Spielberg do sequels to his movies, but this was an exception. Once again he shows why he is one of teh best directors ever. His directing here feels a lot more intense, but that just might be because this movie focuses more on being an intense action-adventure and not so much an interesting historically foucsed adventure with action in it. But the action scenes we get in the movie are intense, brutal and very well filmed. The movie is also a whole ot darker and brutal than the first movie, with some pretty disturbing shit going on at times. So if you don’t like seeing blood and creepy animals and voodoo, do not watch this. But I do have to say that maybe you should still check it out for some of the sets in this movie because they look absolutely incredible.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best visual effects. It also got 1 additional nomination in the category of Best original score. 

While I don’t think “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” deserves the hate that a lot of people give it, I do agree that it’s not the best of the series. It has a good plot, good acting with some meh characters (Ford’s still great though), great music, great directing, great action and some pretty great sets. Time for my final score. *Dun du dun dun*. My final score for “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is an 8,95/10. While not as good as the first one, it’s definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is now done.

Kali Ma…

Movie Review: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

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Most movies I review are ones that I have never seen before, but on occasion it happens that I do one that I have seen before. This is such a movie. The backstory to why I chose to review this movie was that I caught it on TV this evening with my parents and thought “Hey… let’s review it since my thoughts may have changed since last I saw it”. So, let’s review us some adventure stuff.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

The movie follows history teacher and archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) as he is sent by some US government people to go and find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do. On the way he meets up with his former lover Marion (Karen Allen) abd it’s up to them and some other people to find the Ark before the Nazis get their terrible hands on it. While not having the most original of plots since it’s been done in old adventure serials, it still delivers a lot better than most movies of the same genre. It’s intriguing, interesting, fast-paced, fun and just overall very well told. There are so many tiny nuances that gives the plot of the movie the edge over most movies in the action-adventure genre. *Dun du dun dun, dun du duuun*.

The characters in the movie are all just a load of fun to watch do things… yes, even the nazis. Harrison Ford had already proven himself with “Star Wars” and “Empire Strikes Back” that he was a really good actor with tons of charisma, but then he did this role and proved he isn’t just a pretty face in a spaceship. He showed that can be a tough badass with tons of intelligence and charm as well. Seriously, his performance in this movie is great… he is also one sexy motherfucker. Karen Allen gives a great performance as Marion, a tough-as-nails woman who still shows that she is vulnerable, which makes her character a lot more compelling than your typical damsel in distress. We also get some great supporting performances from John Rhys-Davies, Paul Freeman and Ronald Lacey. If you want good acting, look no further.

The score for “Raiders” was composed by the legendary John WIlliams and it’s definitely one of his finest, being able to ramp up the tension and excitement in the different scenes of the movie. It’s also jsut overall really fun to lsiten to and would definitely be something I could listen to in the car… if I had a car, that is. And I will just briefly mention the main theme which is simply one of the greatest main themes to anything ever.

This movie was the result of directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas bumping their heads together to create something interesting and entertaining. And that they did, with George doing some writing/story for it and Steven doing the directing. And that was a great decision because this is one of the most well directed action movies I have ever seen. The shots look terrific, with Spielberg showing that he is one of the best directors ever. And the action scenes are so great to watch as well, with everything clearly visible, with no dumb editing or unnecessary shaky-cam… or CGI. Sure, there is a scene with some sub-par green screen effects, but that part doesn’t really take away from the overall experience for me. The fights are also really brutal and hard-hitting. Combine that with some overall disturbing imagery and a scene featuring a shit-ton of snakes, I am almost a bit surprised that this movie is rated PG and not R. There is also a bit of really funny humor that is surprisingly low-key for this type of film.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 90/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #36 on the “Top 250” list. It also won 4 Oscars in the categories of Best set decoration, Best sound, Best film editing and Best visual effects. The movie also got an additional 4 nominations in the categories of Best picture, best director, best cinematography and best original score. 

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a classic within the action-adventure genre. It features a great plot, great characters & acting, fantastic music, great directing, great action and some really good humor. Time for my final score. *Dun du dun dun, dun du duuun*. My final score for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is now completed.

So, yeah… look forward to reviews coming soon for the rest of the series…

Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

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I really have no clever or witty introduction for this review. I really just want to get into the review so I can tell you about my thoughts on the movie. I guess I could give you my backstory on how I got into “Star Wars” in the first case, but I feel like that’s a thing for a separate post. So let’s just get on with the real deal here.

My dearest ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”!

This movie is set about 30 years after “Return of the Jedi” and follows a young scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) who meets up with a man named Finn (John Boyega) who used to be a stormtrooper before he left for not liking what this “First Order” does. So it follows them meeting up with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the gang to try to stop the “First Order” and it’s leader, the nefarious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Guys… it happened, it finally fucking happened… a great plot in a “Star Wars” movie. That’s something we haven’t seen since “Return of the Jedi”, and that was 32 years ago. I felt like they actually put some effort into the plot of this one. You care about the good guys trying to save the day, you care about what happens in general. They actually did a great job… YES!!!

The characters in this movie are all great. Just like in the original trilogy, they were all instantly likable and they played their part in the story well. Let’s start with the old blood which we used to love and see if we still like them… was there ever any doubt? Harrison Ford is great as Han Solo, being just as fun and badass as he was back in the day even though he is a lot older now. Carrie Fisher as Leia… terrific. Peter Mayhew is still as awesome in the role of Chewbacca as he was back in the day. And I will not lie, some people will be disappointed if not mad about how they used Luke Skywalker in the movie. Me personally? I thought it worked, it was good. Anthony Daniels as C-3PO was also really good even though there was limited screen time for him. Now let’s talk some of the new blood they put in the movie. John Boyega as Finn was just great. His performance has a lot of energy, a lot of humanity and a lot of likability. Daisy Ridley was absolutely terrific as Rey. Her performance felt so real and so fine-tuned that she was just great. Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron… god damn badass! Seriously, Isaac was great in the role and his character was definitely one of my favorites in the movie. Finally we have Adan Driver as main bad guy Kylo Ren… yeah he was pretty damn fantastic. And he plays my favorite type of villain: the villain whom you can understand the motivations for. you can kind of get behind his thoughts in the movie. Sure, I didn’t condone what he did because he did some terrible shit, but I can still understand his thinking, and that’s the type of villain I love! And look, there are too many actors in this movie to tlak about them all, but let’s just say that they all did a pretty great job in the movie.

This is a part where I had absolutely no doubts at all: the score. Why was I so confident in it? Because a great while ago it was announced that the score would be provided by none other than John Williams, the man who has done the music for all previous movies in the series. And once again, the man fucking nails it perfectly. Both the classic themes that we’ve heard a million (billion) times and the new songs work perfectly in the movie. I mean, it’s John freakin’ Williams!

This movie was directed by J.J. Abrams who now have his hands in both “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” which means he might finally brings the fanbases together. Anyhow, he did a great job with the directing. Everything looks smooth, it’s all very swift, there are a lot of long, beautiful takes and it all just looks really nice. And oh my god… are those practical effects? Yes they are, holy shit. That’s right, movie has practical effects, which is something the crew wanted in the movie and they somehow made it the majority in the movie. Sure, there is CGI in the movie, but really only when they needed it. For the most part they stuck to the practical stuff (which is amazing to see). And I have to say that all of the effects in the movie look absolutely fantastic. The movie also moves at a great pace, never feeling slow or bogged down by exposition or overall boring stuff. And the action scenes are pretty great as well, all feeling very grounded and almost even real. I especially love the dog fights, those are so satisfying to watch. I also feel like I have to mention that there is actual humor in the movie and it is really funny… something that they failed at with the prequel trilogy. But here, they gloriously succeeded.

Sure, this movie just came out, but I will still say that it has been received well. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10 which most likely will change by a good amount when more people have gotten the chance to see it, but that is what it stands at right at the time of this review.

“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is what I would really call a true “Star Wars” movie. It has a great plot, great characters & acting, fantastic music, great directing, great action, great visual effects, great writing and just an overall sense of fun. Time for my final score. My final score for “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is a 9,89/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is at last reviewed.

You have no idea how long I have waited for this…