Movie Review: Danny the Dog (2005)

I just know that someone’s gonna see this and say “Hey wait a minute, isn’t this movie actually called Unleashed?”. And to that I say, you are not wrong. In some parts of the world, this movie is called “Unleashed”. And in others it’s “Danny the Dog”. The service I watched it on had it listed as the latter, so that’s what I’m using for this review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Danny the Dog”.

Danny (Jet Li) is a man who has been an attack dog-like slave to a ruthless mobster (Bob Hoskins) for as long as he can remember. But when he meets a kind, blind man (Morgan Freeman), his life takes an interesting turn. Is this the greatest plot ever? No. But I do have to say that I was surprisingly invested in it. Now, I wasn’t ever deeply invested in it all, but I was invested enough to not get bored when the movie decided to slow down a bit. There are layers to the story here, giving us an interesting look at someone who’s never really felt love or compassion, only knowing abuse and violence, who finally gets a glimpse of something better. It’s a little bit ham-fisted in its storytelling at times, but overall it’s still an enjoyable tale.

The characters in this are entertaining and interesting. Firstly we have Jet Li as Danny, the titular character who’s been treated as a bit of an attack dog for most of his life. He is quite emotionally stunted, due to being a slave to a gangster for so long, so seeing him develop throughout the movie is actually pretty interesting. And Jet Li gives a pretty good performance here. Next we have Bob Hoskins as Bart, the gangster who’s been “taking care of” Danny for all these years. He’s a ruthless asshole who you kind of just want to punch in his face. And Hoskins gives a cartoonishly sneering performance here that I just loved watching. Next we have Morgan Freeman as Sam, a blind, elderly piano tuner that Danny meets, and is the first person to ever really show Danny any kind of kindness. And seeing how he affects Danny creates quite a fun dynamic between the two. And Freeman is really good in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Kerry Condon, Vincent Regan, Dylan Brown, Michael Jenn, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by British trip hop band Massive Attack, and while I wouldn’t find myself listening to this music in my spare time, I do think it worked well for the movie. It is of course heavily based in the electronica/trip hop style that the group is known for while adjusting it to fit more as the score of a movie. And it helps add a little bit of fun to the movie.

The movie was written by Luc Besson and directed by Louis Leterrier, and I think that works as a fine double act. Besson’s quirks shine through pretty well, and blends wonderfully with Leterrier’s knack for creating a fast pace. The movie, even in its slower scenes, never really loses any of its energy. And seeing as this movie stars Jet Li, there’s bound to be some fight scenes in it too. And said fight scenes are fucking fantastic. Well shots, not too quickly edited, wonderfully choreographed, these fights really help add a lot to the movie.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 65% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

While not necessarily a great movie, “Danny the Dog” is a highly entertaining action-drama. It has a pretty good plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, and great writing/direction/fighting. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Danny the Dog” is an 8,66/10. So while not perfect, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Danny the Dog” is now completed.

Woof woof, motherfucker.

Movie Review: Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Boxing. Two people standing in a small arena, trying to punch the shit out of each other. Yeah, I don’t understand the point of it. That said, I don’t know what the point of any sport’s existence is. Feel free to hate on me for not understanding the appeal/purpose of sports… I don’t care.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Million Dollar Baby”.

Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is a woman determined on becoming a great boxer, so she starts training at a gym owned by old and hardened boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood). And soon Frankie takes Maggie under his wing to help her become a great boxer. The story follows them as their relationship evolves while they also go through stuff. While the ideas presented at first glance are very basic and familiar from other boxing movies, the execution of said ideas is much better than a lot of other movies in the genre. Seeing their relationship evolve over the two hour runtime is quite fascinating and it makes for a really solid plot that actually delivers a few devastatingly emotional punches (pun intended) at the right times. So yeah, the plot here is pretty great.

The characters in this movie are all fleshed out and quite interesting. Hilary Swank is terrific as Maggie, perfectly playing this determined woman. She wsa believable in the role and I really cared about her. Clint Eastwood is great as Frankie, giving us the perfect blend of classic Eastwood gruffness and relatable vulnerability. Morgan Freeman (AKA god) plays an employee at Frankie’s gym (while also providing the movie’s narration) and he is absolutely terrific in the role. We also get a bunch of great supporting performances from people like Anthony Mackie, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Brían F. O’Byrne, Michael Peña, and Margo Martindale. So this is a pretty stellar cast.

The score for the movie was composed by… Clint Eastwood? Really? *Does more research*. Yeah, Clint Eastwood composed the music for this movie… surprise. Jokes aside, he did a pretty great job with the music. It’s dramatic, it’s emotional, and it just fits the movie perfectly. Good job, Mr. Eastwood.

This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and he did a great job. The shots look great and every shot is at the perfect length. Now, since this is a boxing movie we should talk about the boxing scenes. So how are the boxing scenes here? Yeah, they’re pretty great. They’re exciting, intense, and kind of brutal. It all feels quite realistic.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #202 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 4 Oscar in the categories of Best picture, Best Actress (Swank), Best supporting actor (Freeman), and Best director. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Eastwood), Best adapted screenplay, and Best film editing. 

“Million Dollar Baby” is an absolutely fantastic sports-drama. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Punch*. My final score for “Million Dollar Baby” is a 9,88/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Million Dollar Baby” is now completed.

Is this one of Eastwood’s best films? Hell yes.

Movie Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007)

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Stories of disappearances and kidnappings are things that I absolutely hate hearing about, but unfortunately they will always find a way to surface. Sure, there are cases where the missing people have been found and everything is happy-go-lucky again and that is always great to hear. But then unfortunately we have the stories of those who are never found or when they are found they are dead. And with that depressing start, let’s talk about a movie!

Guys and gals… “Gone Baby Gone”.

“Gone Baby Gone” is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane and is about private detectives Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan). One day they get hired by the McCreadys (Amy Ryan, Amy Madigan, Titus Welliver) to find their missing/abducted daughter/niece. But as this is based on a Dennis Lehane novel you can of course the plot to go a lot deeper than that with a lot of complexity and twists. And the movie follows on with that splendidly! Whenever there was a twist in this movie, it worked and i never saw them coming. The plot was also really well done and well presented. It is also pretty realistic and very grounded for a Hollywood thriller.

The characters all felt real, I felt like this is a person I could probably meet in the real world. The writing feels very real and not at all cheesy or silly. I am also happy to say that the performances in this movie are phenomenal! Casey Affleck was perfect as this troubled and almost broken young man. Monaghan was also terrific. And I don’t think I have to mention Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris and how great they were because… they are Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris. All the performances in this movie were fantastic and it really helped elevate the already great story.

The score by Harry Gregson-Williams was fantastic. Not only because I have been a fan of him for a long time, but also because it was legitimately great. For the most part the score was based around piano and a little bit of stringed intruments (Mainly violin). It helped build a lot of atmosphere, suspense and beauty in every scene. There were also a few licensed tracks used throughout, but they only helped in some way whenever they were used. So overall, the music in this movie was great.

This movie is directed by Ben Affleck and I have to say, I am having a really fucking hard time believing this is his feature film debut. It is so professionally directed and shot that you think he has made a bunch of movies before. But this is only his first (Holy shit). Also, a small (and unnecessary) thing I have picked up is that this is one of two movies Affleck has been involved with that has the word “Gone” in the title (The other being “Gone Girl”). Don’t know why I picked up on that, I just did. Like I said, this movie is based on the Dennis Lehane novel. The funny thing is that I own the book… but I haven’t read it yet. And that is a bit of a shame because I am a fan of Lehane and his work. This is also one of four movies (that I know of) that currently exists based on Lehane novels. The other ones are “Mystic River”, “Shutter Island” and “The Drop”. So far he got some pretty fucking great adaptations.

This movie was pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. Roger Ebert really seemed to like this movie as he gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actress (Amy Ryan).

“Gone Baby Gone” is a complex, well written, superbly acted, reall well directed movie with a terrific score. Time for my final score. *Clears throat* My final score for “Gone Baby Gone” is a 9,77/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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I have now reviewed “Gone Baby Gone”.

Markus, where are my socks? Gone, baby… Gone.

Movie Review: The Lego Movie (2014)

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I grew up playing a lot with lego. I didn’t always know what the hell I was doing, but I had a lot of fun. Most times I honestly improvised and built random things. One time when I was like 11 or 12 I was just bored one day and somehow managed to build a big star destoyer (Star Wars) looking thing. I was proud of it… and then a few days later it fell off the shelf and turned into a million pieces. But my childhood is not important right now! What is important is the fact that in 2014 there was an upcoming movie about Lego stuff. It seemed like an interesting cashgrab idea. To be honest I was really skeptical about it at first, but then the trailer dropped and it looked awesome. So now I am finally reviewing it. So how is it? Is it simply a boring cashgrab or is it a pretty awesome animation?

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Lego Movie”.

This movie follows Lego minifigure Emmet (Chris Pratt). He is just another guy in the crowd. But one day he happens to fall onto a “Piece of Resistance” which apparently is a sign that means he is the “Special One” who will stop the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from gluing together everything in the world. But Emmet isn’t alone! He gets help from badass chick Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), pirate Metal Beard (Nick Offerman) and Old Wise guy Vitruvius (God, er I mean Morgan Freeman). At first the story only seems silly, but as it goes on it adds layers and turns out to be a pretty clever story with some genuinely heartfelt moments. I was surprised with just how clever and even thought provoking it could become. But i really liked it. The only weird thing is that there were some (in my opinion) really weird shifts of tone in the movie. Those dragged everything down a little bit, but not too much.

The characters in this movie are so unique and varied that it’s crazy. I absolutely loved it. Emmet himself is this regular type of guy who gets dragged into all these crazy adventures, so I liked the fact that Chris Pratt voiced him since he really got the sort of “Normal Guy” voice (if that makes sense). I am not going to go through with every character because that would take too long. I will however mention that I found one character surprisingly awesome; Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson). He had awesome dialogue (like everyone else) but also really got some really good slapstick when it was needed. I was also surprised at how great Liam Neeson portrayed him in the movie. I know the guy is a great actor, but lending his voice to a kids movie… damn. Overall, all the characters were great and well-acted.

The soundtrack in this movie is pretty great. Since this movie is set a little all over the place, I was glad to hear that they could capture the feel of every location with the music. Want good Wild West music? Got it! Good action music? Boom! This movie got some great pieces of music. And I guess I have to give my two cents on the very popular song “Everything is Awesome” from the movie. It is pretty cool, actually. Not my favorite song in the whole wide world, but it was definitely good.

Since this is an animated movie I will have to talk about the animation in it’s very own segment because that’s how I roll. The animation in the movie is really great! And here is the charming thing about it: It is completely CGI but looks like stop motion animation. Everything looks like Lego, but was made in a computer… how crazy is that!? It all looks fantastic and it gives the movie some much appreciated personality. Everything looks like Lego, nothing looks like added CG, everything is Lego!

Since this is a comedy, is it funny? Yes it definitely is! the comedy is fast-paced and clever… which is why the kids won’t get it. There are a lot of jokes that they will not get, but the adults will probably laugh their asses off at. But kids will laugh at a lot of the slapstick in the movie and also look at all the pretty colors and explosions. This is also a parody of all typical “The prophecy says you are the chosen one” “No I’m not” movies and it does it gloriously. It was also fantastic to see all these characters you recognize from all over the place converge on one place and just… AWWW!

Is this movie well-received? Oh yes! On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has an 83/100 rating. And on imdb.com it has a 7,9/10. The movie is also (at the time of this review) nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Song (Everything is Awesome). What? No best animated feature nomniaton? That’s odd.

“The Lego Movie” is clever, hilarious, well-acted, beautifully animated and really charming but is dragged down a little bit by weird shifts in tone. So now I am finally gonna give you my final score. No, Vitruvius, I am over here! OVER HERE! No, not the plant! Finally, thank you! My final score for “The Lego Movie” is a 9,42/10. It is definitely worth buying!
betala-kassa-butik

Review of “The Lego Movie” is now done.

Everything is awesome…

My Favorite Scenes: Se7en Opening Credits

My dear friends of the internet, welcome back to another installment of “My Favorite Scenes”! Ya know, the “series” where I kind of talk about my favorite scenes. And this time we once again talk about the opening credits to a movie. It also happens to be the second time I talk about the opening credits from a movie directed by David Fincher (First time was “Fight Club”). And this time it is for the movie “Se7en” (Se-Seven-en). If you didn’t already know, Se7en is a 1995 crime-thriller starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives trying to find a murderer who kills people in ways kind of based on the seven deadly sins (hence the title “Seven”, stylized as “Se7en”). I did a review for the movie a few weeks back and I can tel you right now that I love the movie. It is fantastic! But back to the opening credits… which I also happen to love. These opening credits are as dark and disturbing as the rest of the movie and really works setting the tone for the entire thing. So, please enjoy the opening credits for the fantastic crime-thriller “Se7en”.

Se7en opening credits

Movie Review: Se7en (1995)

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Okay, how many here love murder mystery movies? Raise your hands! Come on now, don’t be shy! There we go, I see a few hands now! Anyway, as you may have guessed, I love myself a good murder mystery. Not always the “Whodunnit?” kinda way, but a mystery involving murder… especially a suspenseful one. Okay, not only murder mysteries, but thrillers in general. A good example of a great thriller is 2013’s “Prisoners”. So yeah… I love myself a good crime-thriller. They make you get a warm beverage, snuggle up in a cover/blanket/thing and just have a good time with it. Well, today we are talking about one such movie… a movie that was a bit of a box office success. And it is directed by one of my favorite directors.

Detectives and criminals… “Se7en” (Se-Seven-en).

The story of “Se7en” is set in a dark, depressing New York-y city and follows homicide detectives William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt). Somerset is this veteran cop who is gonna retire soon and Mills is this sort of rookie guy. One day they get to a crime scene… but not jsut any old crime scene, oh no. Here they find an overly obese man tied up (and dead). And this murder leads to similar(ish) murders that are about as brutal, disgusting and horrible as this one, all having one thing in common… they all revolve around the seven deadly sins (Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Wrath, Envy, Sloth). And they find out a lot more, equally disturbing things. And based on those facts, this movie got one of the most intriguing stories in any movie ever. While some call the story “cliché”, I call it interesting and well done. I also want to add that the elements of the murders based around the seven deadly sins are both creepy and a little disturbing. So yeah, this movie was very interesting.

The characters are incredibly well-written and well-acted. They are portrayed in a realistic way. And like I said, the actors do an amazing job in this movie. There is especially one performance (not gonna mention which) that both made me go “That is how you act!” and “This is a little disturbing”… and I loved that. I am going to admit that one of the actors (again, not mentioning which) who in one scene drops a little bit in the acting quality. Not saying it becomes horrible, just not as good as the rest of the movie.

The music… holy fucking shit, the music! There are some orchestral tracks for the more dramatic and action-y bits. And sometimes the music can be cold, creepy and just make me feel generally creeped out. I honestly never knew Howard Shore (Most known for the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies) could write such a cold score. And like I said, there are a few fairly bombastic bits every now and then… but nothing too “epic”.

Once again, David Fincher directed an incredibly good looking movie. The visuals and camera angles in this movie are fantastic! Sure, he is no stranger to that kind of stuff, but here he really shows what he is made of! Also, this is one of the few movies that properly disturb me in a fashion that doesn’t actually involve any gross-out methods… and that is not easy with me. Also, this movie is unforgiving in the way how it doesn’t care, it just does it’s thing. Also, this movie went by pretty fast, it didn’t feel like two hours at all. In other words, it was very well-paced and never got boring.

Reception for “Se7en” was overall good. This was a commercial success after all. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a 65/100 score. Roger Ebert orginally gave this movie 3,5/4 stars but it has been updated to 4/4 stars and is on his “Great Movies” list. On imdb.com this movie has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #22 on the “Top 250” list. “Se7en” was also nominated for an Oscar, and that was for Best Film Editing.

“Se7en” is a dark, creepy, disturbing, great, suspenseful and very well-acted crime thriller. And now I am ready to hand out my final score if I can find the god damn thing! Ah, there it is! My final score for “Se7en” is a 9,74/10 which grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“Se7en” is now reviewed.

Se-Seven-en…

Movie Review: Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

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We all love Morgan Freeman. He is not only a great actor, he is also the man with the golden voice! He has played in some really great movies. The “Dark Knight” trilogy, “Shawshank Redemption” and many more. But these are more modern examples. So how was he back in the day? Today we are taking a look at one of the earlier but still well known Morgan Freeman movies.

Daisies and Donalds (Bonus point if you get the reference)…”Driving Miss Daisy”!

This movie follows Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy) who after trying to drive to the store one day crashes the car and ends up sitting in her house doing nothing almost every day. But after a while, her son Boolie (Dan Aykroyd) convinces her to finally get a new driver. Sure, she is hesitant and not happy about the situation, but she agrees. She hires a man whom her son recommended. This man is the African-American man Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman). Like I said, at first she is hesitant, but over the years these strats bonding. And that is the basic premise. Doesn’t sound all too interesting? Don’t worry, the execution makes it all so much more entertaining. They get put in some interesting situations (and by interesting I don’t mean like “Collateral” form of interesting). What carries the movie for the most part is what I am gonna mention in the next segment. Oh wait, I can mention one more thing here, a lot of things that have with the story are kinda fun to watch, trust me. Also, this takes place through a lot of years and that is pretty damn cool!

Now…here is what carries the movie. The characters are what carries this movie. They are not only well written, but also incredibly well acted. Especially on the sides of Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman (And that is improtant since they are what the movie is mainly about). Their chemistry is really great and gives us one of the most entertaining team-ups (Couldn’t find a better word…sorry) in movie history. Their dialogues were great. I was also happily surprised the really good performance we get from Dan Aykroyd in this movie (Take note that I have only seen him in “Blues Brothers and Ghost Busters and that doesn’t say much about him). He is really good.

The music by Hans Zimmer…I fucking love it. It is not only serious and beautiful at times, but it can also be delightfully light hearted at times and just make me happy. I have nothing else on this part.

Ony my so called “extras” bit here I really have no words to use. Sorry.

The reception for “Driving Miss Daisy” was overall good. Critics and people seemed to like this movie. Rotten Tomatoes currently has the score of 81% positive reviews. Metacritic has 81/100 on it. Roger Ebert gave this movie a 4/4 star rating and said this lovely thing:

“Driving Miss Daisy is a film of great love and patience, telling a story that takes 25 years to unfold, exploring its characters as few films take the time to do.”

On imdb.com this movie has a 7,4/10 rating. This movie won 4 Oscars. Best Picture, Best Leading Actress, Best screenplay from already existing medium and best makeup. It was also nominated on five more things. But I’m only gonna mention two of them. Best Leading Actor (Morgan Freeman) and Best supporting Actor (Dan Aykroyd).

I liked the story execution, characters/acting, the fantasticly nice music by Hans Zimmer and for the msot part everything. If anything I have nothing negative to say and that might be a negative thing in itself. Still, this movie gets a 9,11/10. However it does not get the “Seal of Approval”. Just trust me. It is however worth a buy if you like most types of movies like me. But if you’re looking for something extremely exciting…you will not like this movie. But still, it is a great movie that I recommend.

“Driving Miss Daisy” is now reviewed.

I wish I would get to hear Morgan Freeman read this in his voice.