Reviews written by
Darkfalz

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111 reviews in total 
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A Stranger to Love (1996) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
TV movie with very interesting plot, 21 September 2004
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a fairly standard made for TV drama movie, but the plot is quite interesting and unique.

*** SPOILERS ***

Man gets beaten one night and dumped miles away, when he regains consciousness he has amnesia. Meanwhile, his family are looking for him and identify one corpse as being him, and believe him to be dead. He makes his way as a homeless for a while, before being taken in by a woman as a kitchen hand. He discovers he can cook (it was his job in his old life) and becomes the chef of her motel, and they fall in love.

Then fate intervenes and he manages to get in touch with his old life, and now suddenly his two lives meet. Very plausible, and a very difficult situation to imagine grappling with yourself.

*** END SPOILERS ***

Worth seeing. Some unlikely elements will require you to suspend disbelief, but that's typical for a movie.

7 out of 10

3 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Subversive feminist evil, 5 September 2004
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yet another TV movie which tries to justify the murder of a man. This must be about the 100th carbon copy I've seen, movies which soften people in general up towards taking the law into their own hand and committing murder, if they happen to be female and the victim is a man.

*** SPOILERS ***

It's the same old story too. Plain, chubby Katie is seduced by a typical hunk who is way too good for her and thus can't take no for an answer. After not getting what he wants in the car on their FIRST DATE, he sneaks into her bedroom and has sex with her. Just like that, while she looks into his pretty boy eyes and lets him have his way with her. It's truly amazing the power men with good looks have over women due to their shallowness, as women put looks far above anything else when it comes to choosing men these days and will do practically anything these men ask to get with them.

She isn't bothered by this behaviour, and she doesn't report him for rape (admittedly it's not rape, but that's beside the point). She marries him! Even though he's obviously a control freak who takes what he wants when he wants.

Now we watch him gradually get more abusive, and the "poor innocent" woman does nothing about it. She doesn't tell her family, go to the police, or make any efforts to leave. He starts beating her while she's pregnant, and all she can do is tell him how much she loves him! It's downright CRIMINAL what good looks allow men to get away with, but only because women are SO SHALLOW and stupid.

Then she kills him in cold blood while he's lying on the bed, shooting him twice with a shotgun. Who cares if she's crying while she does it? Murder is murder. But not to the MORONIC COURTS OF THE USA.

So it's the same old sorry progression of events where women don't take responsibility for their choices and it's all meant to fall on the man. Women chooses bad man for bad reasons. Women puts up with bad man's bad behaviour for years, instead of leaving or getting help. Then man has to DIE because of HER bad choices. And thanks to the messed up legal system, WOMAN GETS AWAY WITH IT.

And we're all meant to feel relieved about that. What UTTER TRASH. She deserves to be rotting in a cell. Abuse does NOT justify MURDER. You LEAVE, you GET A DIVORCE, you TELL SOMEONE. You DON'T sit back and let things escalate until you have the opportunity to MURDER someone and then claim "self defense".

*** END SPOILERS ***

This is feminist evil at its most beguiling, depicted as women struggling against the abuse of "evil men", it's really a story of how women's bad choices tend to backfire on them and rather than accept responsibility for their actions for once, they choose the most gutless and dire course of action. And then thanks to the pathetically weak and unjust legal system, they once again escape responsibility!

Society needs to wake up to this and force women to take responsibility for their actions from the VERY BEGINNING, just as men are forced to. Forget trying to get out of an abusive relationship, DON'T GET INTO ONE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Stop picking the wrong kind of men and then blaming THEM when they continue behave how they did all along. It's YOUR OWN DAMN FAULT.

In Hell (2003)
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly decent for a Van Damme film, 1 September 2004
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Maybe it's not so surprising, as Ringo Lam was also responsible for Van Damme's last passable film, Replicant. Derailed was a complete disaster and The Order was pretty stupid too.

I watch new Van Damme/Seagal movies mostly because I expect them to be low budget, unintentionally funny dreck. I didn't suspect much else from this.

But it's got quite a good story, and Van Damme does some fairly decent "acting" in this as well as sporting a long beard for part of it (I'm not sure if it was real or not). This film also has an excellent (and probably realistic) depiction of prison and in particular prison in Russia (as well as the legal system in some countries). It's really not a place you'd like to be.

*** SPOILERS ***

Here's where I give the film most credit. It seems, half way through, that the entire premise is just another excuse to have a "Kumite" like tournament in prison, with Van Damme doing the fighting, like most of his other movies. But it doesn't actually end up going down that road. It actually turns out to be a fairly dramatic with messages you wouldn't expect from a Van Damme action film. Thankfully, they don't try TOO hard to be meaningful. There's some scenes with a bad CGI moth and some silly scenes with the ghost of his ex-wife, but in context they aren't too bad.

*** END SPOILERS ***

Overall, I was fairly impressed. Ringo Lam should do all of Van Damme's films, because he's the only one who gets a decent performance and movie out of him anymore.

One gripe I have with so many Van Damme films, is that he is referred to as "The American" or whatever, when he's clearly not American by his accent. He may play an American citizen, but other characters who automatically call him an American only have his appearance and accent to go on. I just find this to be kind of stupid.

7/10

Out for a Kill (2003) (V)
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Steven Seagal steps out... for a kill, 3 August 2004
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whereas we mere mortals might go out for a coffee, or out for a walk, Steven Seagal goes out for a KILL. Think about that for a moment. Killing a person for Seagal is quite a casual affair. He's THAT good.

Or at least, he was. A long, long time ago. Seagal is these days tired looking and FAT. His stunt double does most of his fighting for him. These are the reasons that new Seagal films are so much fun to watch and laugh at. This one is especially bad.

*** SPOILERS ***

Seagal plays a professor (no really), in fact, "Yale's most distinguished academic" for his work in Chinese archeology (or something). He's on a dig and some mobsters show up who are using the finds to smuggle drugs, and one of them steps on a plate. Seagal asks "Who is this guy?" and brilliantly deduces that he's not a real archaeologist based on the fact he steps on ancient plates. They figure Seagal has uncovered their plot, so a chase ensues where his ugly token Asian female assistant is shot in a laughable "bullet time" moment (was BT ever that interesting anyway?).

He gets arrested and the better looking Asian female cop releases him because he's Steven Seagal, and the plot has to move forward. So a bunch of sword wielding ninjas attack him suddenly at the assistant's funeral and Seagal's double fights them off. Here's another thing I should mention, this film frequently jumps from country to country, yet we never see anyone get on a plane. Amazing. And another thing that bothered me is Seagal seems to have recorded most of his dialogue in post, because his every spoken line sounds like a voice over.

Anyway, the mobsters (who are all sitting around a table in France the whole time while they disappear one by one, as if they wouldn't get underlings to do their dirty work) blow up his house, killing his wife (who happens to look like a model, like we're really expected to think she'd want to marry a fat greasy old professor) while Seagal stands out side looking ridiculous in an obvious blue screen composite, and now it's really time for Seagal to go OUT FOR A KILL.

Seagal relaxes for a while while his stunt double kills a whole lot of guys - wait a minute, I thought this was "a kill", singular? I guess not. One of them is with this monkey guy who can climb walls and keeps scratching himself. Seagal's fight double is very obvious in this scene because he's about 50 lbs thinner and much younger looking.

This continues until Seagal reaches the last guy he was out to kill, and kills him in the most ridiculous fashion imaginable.

I should mention the funniest moment in the whole movie. While Seagal is in prison, he meets a token black guy (I guess Kurupt and DMX were busy?), and just as the black guy is starting to tell his story about how he ended up in prison, it fades to a different scene. When it returns, Seagal is being released, he tells the black guy he's a friend for life, and the black guy yells out "Don't forget me!" And that's the last we ever see or hear of him!

*** END SPOILERS ***

The acting in this movie is terrible, which isn't surprising considering everyone is an unknown. I guess Seagal doesn't want to get upstaged by his supporting cast? The direction is equally bad, and made even worse in post by two things. Firstly, there is slo mo put in places for no apparent reason. We see a slo mo scene of Seagal putting a piece of paper into a plastic sleeve. Why? It has absolutely no relevance to the movie at all. Also Seagal's opponents frequently slo mo, maybe to make Seagal look fast by comparison? Who knows. Secondly, there is the most blatant and stupid overuse of on screen text (complete with stupid computer sounds) I've ever seen in a movie. We're told who villains are, what they do, and even their hobbies - via on screen text. It's also not enough that a location hasn't changed and that it's obviously later that night, we have to be TOLD exactly where we are (even when it's a place we've already seen) and what time it is! It's like they payed the text guy for an hour and he'd done his work in 10 minutes, so they spent the next 50 minutes coming up with extra things for him to put in.

This film is a laughable joke, much like Seagal, but you should see it for that very reason. Watching a former star's career plummet so low is a guilty pleasure, especially when it happens to be Steven Seagal.

3 out of 10

Anatomy (2000)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A feminist slasher flick?, 15 July 2004
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this basically for the sole reason that it was supposed to have Third Reich references in it. It turned out a pretty brainless and predictable slasher film that appeared to be made to appeal to feminists or something.

Let me tell you something, if you wait an entire movie to see the attractive female lead's breasts, the last thing you want is a "tastefully" done sex scene with annoying camera angles that don't show anything. Her busty friend didn't get hers out either, but we saw plenty of men's butts and pubic hair and guys with their shirts off. And at the end you have our heroine magically dodging the scalpel thrusts and swings of the villain (who turns out to be the hunk, funnily enough) and she easily out fights him (uh huh) while her male love interest is tied down and waiting to be rescued. The funniest part was when she picks up a chair and "swings" it at the guy and it breaks over him. Now it'd be about as much as she could manage to lift the chair let alone smash it against a person with enough force to break it! It looks ridiculous, she basically brushes it against him and it falls apart. If you are going to do this sort of "role reversal" rubbish (which has already been done to death) then you have to at least make it semi plausible.

There was one good bit though. The bad guy did get the better of her slutty friend, teaching her a lesson for being such a tramp and sleeping around. That's not exactly something feminists would like.

Pretty stupid really. Not that American slasher flicks are generally much better, but you have to wonder why they bothered. It brought nothing new to the genre at all.

5/10

Life-Size (2000) (TV)
15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Heart warming and charming family comedy, 27 June 2004
7/10

Naturally, being a warm blooded male, I don't typically seek out movies like this to watch. But often they come on TV and I happen to catch the first few minutes and then get swept up and, on occasion, thoroughly entertained. I'm happy to say this was one of those occasions.

Lindsey Lohan had me in tears in The Parent Trap, where she was completely charming and adorable, and she's continues in that vein here. Sadly the actress herself has become rather unappealing as an adult, both appearance and personality wise (just another shallow Hollywood party girl...) but here's a look at how sweet she was before things went wrong. I love freckles! Tyra Banks also stars, which is good because it's great to see an actress who had higher aspirations take roles like this to show they are humble and don't take themselves too seriously. Models (and wrestlers or rappers for men) who think they are serious actors are near the top of my most annoying list!

Well, the story of the film is pretty straight forward for a Disneyesque family feature, Casey (Lohan) loses her mother and attempts to resurrect her via voodoo magic, but instead manages to bring her new Eve doll to life, in the form of Tyra Banks. Not exactly a demanding role, but Banks is fun and appealing as the doll come to life trying to fit into the real world. Of course, I'll be a bit cheeky here and say that Type Banks is a perfect choice to play someone who is completely plastic! ;)

Anyway, there's not a whole lot of plot to spoil so I'll stop there, just watch this film for the feel good aspect (and young Lohan) and to remember and treasure the innocent (and fun!) years of youth. It's not only teenagers who shouldn't be in a rush to grow up, but adults too!

2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Offensive, revolting and not at all funny, 19 June 2004
1/10

Female comedians are a rare breed and there appears to be a reason - they aren't very funny. The few successful ones all share one thing in common - the only way they can get laughs is by being vulgar, disgustingly crude and gutlessly making fun of people they know. You see, this is what they do instead of real material which actually takes talent (and a brain) to write. Her brand of comedy is shock value and nothing else, and after a while it stops being even remotely funny and just becomes remarkably offensive.

It's worth nothing that there are very few, if any, male comics who need to resort to this kind of thing. They can actually get laughs without swearing or mentioning bodily functions every 5 seconds. Of course, a man couldn't get away with it anyway, he'd be boo'd off stage within minutes. But people seem to tolerate it coming from a woman. The moment a female comic mentions her period, and they ALL do, you know that she has no talent whatsoever and the only way she ever got up on stage is by talking about her period and other unmentionable parts of her body and (most likely made up) aspects of her sex life. There is nothing more ironic than a woman who spends half an hour making fun of men that she chose to date and get in bed with in the first place. The joke's on you, bitch!

Other topics in her act are masturbation, periods, colon cleansing... well you get the idea. Nothing that is not in bad taste. She even makes fun of other asians (and not in a light hearted way) as though she hasn't looked in the mirror lately. A bit ashamed of being Korean are we, Margaret? "All American Girl" indeed.

The last bit of this show is the most offensive though. She goes off on a long winded rant about appearance and self acceptance. Why is this so bad coming from her? Because she is a short, fat and ugly asian woman who would never date a man with any of those traits. I guess self acceptance is the first step in getting the confidence to reject others for the same reasons you don't want to be judged, eh? Not to even mention her obviously revolting personality.

Human vulgarity on display. Do yourself a favour and avoid it.

7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly good!, 6 June 2004
7/10

In these days of single parenting and broken families, many daughters miss out on having great relationships with their fathers. In fact, this could be the primary reason so many young women these days have terrible attitudes towards men. In this movie we see just how strong this bond can be for a girl who lost her father at an early age (killed in cold blood by his wife, something chillingly common in these days where juries are buying every defense under the sun for women committing murders).

Anyway, Jody is very attached to her foster father who, due to not having a regular job, spends lots of time with her and spoils her. Having lost her real father and another foster father, she's extremely attached and protective of the relationship. Anyone who threatens to break up their family will pay!

And this is where the film gets fun. This innocent looking young girl goes about killing and maiming teachers, grandmothers and the pushy bitter slut who's trying to convince her friend to get a divorce even though they have a pretty good marriage. I must say I didn't feel too bad when she got whacked! The music deserves special mention here, it's really dark and completely over the top in these scenes, like we're really meant to believe this little 80 lbs girl could is scary!

The performance of young Gabrielle Boni as Jody is some excellent child acting (in a fairly varied role), she's absolutely charming and gorgeous (I'm a sucker for red hair and freckles) - I hope that adult Gabrielle Boni gets some more films, I'd love to see her all grown up. In fact the acting all round is pretty decent for such a low budget small studio film.

Anyway, it's a fun film and an interesting spin on stalker/slasher type movies. This time the terror is a 10 year old girl!

7/10

Galaxis (1995)
8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A true B movie!, 6 June 2004
4/10

This is what B movies are about! Terrible acting, has-been stars, cheap effects and ripping off other films left and right.

To me, this feels like the "spiritual" sequel to D.N.A. If you have seen that film, you'd know it completely ripped off Jurassic Park, Predator and Alien and tried to mix them all together into one lame movie. They even feature the same black dude who only seems to appear in these kinds of films!

This time, they rip off both Terminator movies, Star Wars and various others then jumble them all together. In fact, entire scenes are lifted out of Terminator and put in this film. It's so blatant it's funny!

The T-800 like Brigette Neilson is the star. After some promising early roles when she was married to Sly, she quickly dropped off the radar. I got a lot of respect for her from this film. No, obviously not from her acting! But from the fact she's willing to appear in this cheesefest and do her best. Shows she has character. Her costume is quite appealing too, even though she wasn't in the best shape at the time (and it shows through the tight leather).

The effects are generally so bad they're hilarious. The funniest one by far is where a child, infiltrating the rebel fortress, does a stupid little chicken dance and then "morphs" into a sort of invincible Robocop-esque battle droid. You just have to see it. The villain is an absolute joke and the source of many of aforementioned amusing effects are his various "powers".

All in all, the ultimate low budget cheese fest.

4/10 on the IMDB scale, but 10/10 on a b-movie scale!

3 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Mundane, boring, undeserving of an Oscar, 13 May 2004

While I have no doubts about the film maker's dedication, the end product lacked any real or lasting appeal. This was a boring, sometimes depressing and often stupid nonsensical story with ultimately little in the way of a meaningful message. Perhaps that was the point? In which case, why bother making the film at all.

Amateurish, and not in a good way either.

I believe it only won the Oscar because of the cynicism towards CG animation that pops up now and again, and the academy feels it has a responsibility to ensure classic movie making techniques like stop motion animation don't die all together. This is probably the least entertaining short animation I've ever seen.

Basically a waste of time. Avoid.


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