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The 100 (2014)
I watched the first season of "The 100" before writing this review. If you can disregard the bad things about this show and are interested in the sci-fi elements this show might be worth watching if you have nothing better to do. It starts with a pretty cool premise that enables a lot of different plot developments. However there are plenty of things with this show that are annoying:
- The characters are very one dimensional, they are either very good or very bad. They also immediately know what has happened given one clue and what to do next. It's very hard to connect with and feel for anyone of them.
- The dialogue is very simple, filled with clichés and the lines feel very stilted. Nobody actually talks like this.
- Constant self sacrifices and self reflection by the main characters to make them look really good and to provoke some emotional response from the viewer.
- Frequent "cliff hanger" cuts in the middle of episodes which are preceded by the same annoying crescendoing music. Almost like it's made for inserting commercial breaks. This gets annoying very quickly.
- Lots of small side stories (look backs, romantic relations etc.) which doesn't add anything to the main storyline. They are basically just time fillers.
- Very little development actually occurs in the main story line in the whole first season. It could probably be compressed to about two or three episodes.
I can see that many teenagers (mostly girls) would enjoy this show, but for the intelligent adult it's harder to consume. I watched Narcos before this and the difference is huge in terms of production quality and adult appeal. However, I will probably watch season two of "The 100" anyway.
Mr. Nobody (2009)
What a ride!
Wow, this movie kept me at the edge of the seat the entire 141 minutes. It's been a while since I wrote a review here, but this movie really deserves it.
First I have to admit that I'm a fan of original movies which explores philosophical and psychological dilemmas/issues (Cube, Donnie Darko, Memento, Matrix to name a few). This movie really takes it a notch further with it's constant switching between numerous alternative chain of events so that you never know what to expect next. But the cutting is always done with finesse so somehow the scenes always fits together in a logical (or emotional) way (which may not be apparent until after wards). The cinematography is beautiful and really helps strengthen the story telling. The acting is top notch, especially Jared is great.
I won't spoil to much of the story, but I recommend that you see this movie with an open mind, and don't try to make sense of everything that happens. After a while the pieces will start to fall into place (although I admit I don't fully grasp everything after the first viewing). If you can do that, you're in for a hell of a ride!
The Man from Earth (2007)
Interesting idea, flawed movie
OK, first let me say that I agree that the basic idea of the movie is interesting and thought provoking. But the main question is: does it work as a movie? No, not really. The big problem is that when after the man's initial confession there's not much story to keep the movie going for 90 minutes. And the big "surprise" half way through the movie is not that intriguing unless you're a religious person (which I'm not). The ending is totally unsurprising and bland.
The whole movie basically takes place inside one room with the same bunch of people, which obviously makes it hard to keep up the viewer interest for the entire movie. If Spielberg or Cameron was directing this I'm sure it would be lots of historical look-backs spiced up with fancy computer effects, which at least would make the movie more entertaining. The production, acting, dialog, sound editing etc. is so bad it feels you're watching an episode of Twilight Zone rather than a feature film. You can really tell that this is very low budget.
So, in conclusion, interesting idea, but much more is needed to make a good movie.
P.S. If you were living for thousands of years, wouldn't you keep a journal?
Into the Wild (2007)
Contains SPOILERS! Those who write harsh reviews of this movie, I don't think you get the point. So I will give you my interpretation of the story.
This movie is a modern version of the classic theme about the philosophical journey of a young man. The goal of the journey is to find total freedom, and along the way everything else must be sacrificed including relationships and material wealth.
In the end, alone on his death bed, the man realizes that while he has almost reached total freedom he has lost too much along the way and that as a human being you are dependent on other individuals, not only for survival, but ultimately also for happiness. To achieve happiness, you have to sacrifice some of your own freedom and goals. I, and I think many others as well, can certainly relate to the struggle to achieve this balance in life, and that's what makes the movie so beautiful and effective.
Besides having a thought-provoking story, it's a beautifully made film with exquisite acting and photography.
One of the classic sci-fi movies and one of the most entertaining action movies ever made. Certainly one of the best Arnold movies, along with Terminator 1 and 2. Mix a simple but effective story, one cool alien, well directed action scenes, Arnold kicking ass and you get an top notch action movie. Sure, there are some exaggerated macho performances, but John knows how to do it with style.
So if you're a young (but not too young) movie viewer who haven't yet seen Predator, be sure to do so to get a sample of action 80's style with Arnold at his peak.
First Blood (1982)
One of Stallones best performances
Unlike the two follow ups this is a realistic and believable action movie. Stallone is a perfect fit for the role of John Rambo, a quiet man with dark memories from the war. The movie starts out excellent with Rambo coming to the small mountain town and the sheriff, which is well played by Brian Dennehy, stops him in the street. You really feel the tension building up inside Rambo as he takes the crap from the sheriff. And then the police station scene when Rambo snaps. The rest of the movie is raw, cold action and an interesting study in a Vietnam veteran tactics when hunted in the mountains. The action builds up nicely until the somewhat overblown and oversappy end.
The music is excellent with an instantly recognizable track building up the suspense and action. It really adds to the movie experience.
This is one of Stallones few good, believable performances along with Cop Land and Rocky 1. Recommended for raw-action-without-fuzz fans.
Suspenseful, but unoriginal
Villmark is a low budget horror movie from Norway similar to "Blair Witch...". The movie is based more on suspense than gore, unlike for example Evil Dead 1. The story is not very original and deep, we've seen it a couple of times before. The actors do a good job (Eva RÃ¶se is hot!) and I could relate to the characters (maybe because I'm a nordic guy). They are not totally stupid like in some bad Hollywood horror flicks.
There are some quite scary moments, but the ending could have had more punch after all that build up. Also I didn't get the final twist with the guy by the road. Who was he? A nazi? Overall, I liked this movie better then BWP. Rating 7 / 10.
Runaway Train (1985)
Voight's best performance
Jon Voight rules. Should have been given the oscar for his performance as Manny.
The story of the movie is simple but powerful. The action sequences are beatifully shot and very effective. But the real strength of the movie is the human aspect and the interaction between the people on the runaway train. We get to follow two convicts and as the movie progresses we get to know their personalities. One is old, without hope of the future and with only one thing left to prove. The other is young and cocky, full of dreams which are easily destroyed. Together they must work together to escape a certain death, and because of this they form a special relationship. The ending is flawless and fits perfectly. Overall, an excellent thriller/action/drama movie.
"No, worse! Human. Human!"
The story is quite clever and contains some interesting elements. The acting is flawless and the characters seem real. Don't know about the historical correctness, but it's interesting to see the Enigma machine in action. The movie is a bit slow in the middle, it would be even better if they cut some 15 minutes.
Overall a good movie. I give this movie 7/10 and it's worth seeing again because of all the details and plot twists that one might miss the first time.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Pretty good werewolf movie. The acting isn't great (but not bad either), the story is a bit predictable and the special effects are cheap, but that's part of the charm with movies like this. If you're put off by things like this, don't watch this movie!
The movie starts off pretty well with the werewolfs chasing the soldiers though the woods. This part is somewhat similar to Predator, which is good. Unfortunately when they get to the cottage it seems the story writers kind of ran out of ideas and added some scenes that are very predictable and tedious ("Are they really werewolfs?", guy standing in front of window etc.). That part of the movie lowers the rating. But I was pleasantly surprised by the gory and action filled ending. It remainded me of great films like Evil Dead. Super stuff!
Overall rating 6/10