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30 Days of Night (2007)
The Time of Day
I'm the kind of person who takes the myth around vampires very lightly. To me vampires are somewhat ridiculous. To me vampires are boring brats like those in Interview with a vampire or plain silly like in the RPG The Masquerade; artsy wanna-bes and nerds with to much free time on their hands, all sexually deviant and not particularly scary, often portrayed a supermodels with light-blue eyes and bad make up.
Had it not been for my friend who highly recommended Thirty days of night, a friend who's equally unimpressed by the modern vampire-myth, I'd probably wouldn't give this the time of day and then a third vampire hater, stepped in a recommended it strongly.
For the first time I hated the vampires, so much I wanted them to die. The vampires in this movie aren't cool or exotic or sympathetic in that charming way, that seems to attract vampire-lovers.
You are going to love these vampires as much as you love Ralph Fiennes Kommandant Amon Göth in Schindler's List.
These vamps are, in every sense, nasty unlikable, disgusting, weird and utterly scary, just like a vampire should be.
So they come by boat to feed of the population of Barrow, an Alaskan small town, a place where no person ever seems to joke or smile. They're forced to live, once a year, in perpetual darkness during the winter.
The real interesting take on the vampires is that they have their own language and move like starved, rabid animals.
They don't seem to have a masterplan for world domination or being part of a conspiracy, they're just there and the way they look will scare most people. Their facial features is like something out of a David Lynchian nightmare.
I like that this is a mystery, not an action movie and the only other scary vampire movie in modern times is Shadow of the Vampire, a movie almost as scary.
But I can hear my vampire-loving friends bring this down, since the vamps didn't play spinette, spoke with eastern European accents and moaned like the best sex they've ever had every time they sink their teeth into jugulars.
They don't even seem to be enjoying themselves. There is one more movie that comes to mind and that The Addiction, where vampyrism also seem to be more of a decease like alcoholism or bulimia.
It does contain some pretty violent scenes like the massacre on the dogs, the gunplay and decapitations that look almost too realistic.
The entire movie for that matter has the same feel like 28 days later or Cloverfield.
I have never hated vampires more, but this time for a legit reason.
Some scenes fails to deliver but they are very few.
Basically this is about code breaking. All religions are the mother of theology is about breaking the codes. This is a show about breaking the codes shown in the cracks between profane life, the soul and the scrapheap antimatter in between.
It is a pity that this show followed after The X-Files and was compared to it.
Most criticism this show has gotten comes from people who don't seem to understand it. It's one of those shows you understand very little of if you don't see all episodes and that is just great.
Personally I can't stand TV-series with one evening resolutions like that godawful CSI or relentless crap like "lawyer shows".
Apart from all the brilliant TV-series made by HBO Millennium is one of those shows I real hate not being able to watch anymore. In fact it's so good and one of those shows you wish you never saw so you could see it anew.
I am a high school teacher and teach religion, I spent three and a half years in the theological faculty and wrote me bachelors degree about the end of the world, i.e. apokalytica. The studies about the myths of the end of the world.
Millennium digs down in the huge pile of myths and present a true and horryfying version of it set in modern society and really makes me remember the collective anxiety regarding the coming of the new millennia.
The illness of the world and what aisle the human psyche is constant in the show and it makes you feel uncomfortable. TV4 in Sweden, like most of the time managed, to screw this show up, by airing it on different times or around midnight workdays and changing the airing days - their trailer for the show said it was about a former cop hunting serial killers. It's not, it's about the hunt for the truth in the obscure and sometimes the bizarre. The Swedish public expected to see a cop show and soon turned away thus banning it to airing times 2 o'clock in the morning between a Monday and tuseday.
There are some episodes and elements that'll stick to you. As many others have said the episode namned The Curse of Frank Black is amazing. The scene in the lodge when the plague hits is also very good. Legion is a scary figure and sometimes it's presence makes me think of the best show ever on TV Twin Peaks.
The Millennium group and the webs of conspiracies leaves the viewer with intellectual speculation and that is how I want to be left after viewing a show and not with some damn fingerpointining and sugarcoated morality Hoartio Caine style.
Why this show was canceled is a damn shame but it's understandable. Most people are not into active viewing, they want sitcoms, reality shows and cop shows, but I tip my hat to the creators of Millennium and celebrate their work because we, who like to think for ourselves, should have som shows to watch too.
Worse than a bad roleplaying session.
There was a time when me and my friends used to drink heavily and dance like crazy people. When the club shut we ran back to our roleplaying club and improvised different scenarios, many which contained horror, sex and gunplay, very similar to Return to the house on haunted hill.
When six drunks can come up with a story in fifteen minutes ten times better than this one, one might just ask: How in the hell could this be made?
Story: An idol of Baphomet (which in actuality is a bad figurine resembling Cthulhu) is placed in a basement of a mental hospital, for some reason. Pornstar lookalikes and former wrestlers go to this place to retrieve this idol and gets killed in violent ways featuring such killings as a brain being ripped out of a mans skull and a woman having her head gooifyed by a flying refrigerator. Marvelous.
It also features the classic horror movie muppets such as the-stop and-run women with long hair and wet feet seen in ALL Asian horror movies, the eyeless monster (an Ittenbach favourite) and a few porn actresses in minimal nurse outfits and a lot of mascara.
Plot holes: Why would the house be left unattended by the authorities from what happened in the first film?
Why did all the ghosts try to stop the heroes from getting the idol when the house wanted to present the statue to the world and spread its evil ways?
Why didn't the statue have any impact on the world before it ended up in the hospital.
Why do the ghosts wait to attack the heroes until the movie has the right mood for violence and horror?
Why is the electricity on?
How could the hospital be rid of the haunting by throwing the idol in to a sewer? And why does this heavy figurine, which seems to weigh at least 3 - 5 kilos, float like it was made out of plastic?
How is this connected in any way to the first movie. What happened to that computer animated blackness in the first film and why does the hospital look different in it's architecture (on the inside)?
Rating: There is no humour, no self irony; everything is dead serious in every scene. The scenes when people walk alone in dark hallways they feel the need to have stupid monolouges like: "Hm, this hallway is to dark and spooky. I'll better enter anyway. Hm, who is breathing down my neck? Ah well, I better press forward so the ghost can kill me in a lit up room further down?"
This could have been fun to watch like Ittenbachs movies but instead it renders the viewer the feeling of unispiration just like Boll's House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark or the horrible travesti Day of the Dead 2 - Contagium.
And the most fun part was when I predicted the ending, although this scene comes after the end credits. Apart from inventive killings and horrible over the top violence most scenes have already been made. To real movie buffs it's fun though, that the acacdemic investigator is called Hammer and the name Price is mentioned, this can be hommages to Hammer Horrors from 1960's and 1970's produced in The United Kingdom and these often featured actor Vincent Price.
In all, this is a dull session with few or barely anything new material at all.
A censored gem!
Inglorious bastards, released in 1977/78, became one of those films banned in Sweden. Had I grown up watching it as a kid, this would be the war movie to remember, instead the Swedish audience had to stick with rather cheap takes on world war II.
A rag tag bunch of (U.S. soldiers) misfits escapes the death penalty by firing squad and journeys into German occupied France in an attempt to find refuge in Switzerland. In doing so they accidentally kill a German squad who turns out to be Yankee special forces and now they're forced to undertake a "mission impossible", by blowing up a mobile research faculty, a train lab if you will and demolish a mobile V2 rocket system.
The story is original although in features all the commando raid ingredients, like sneaking into a SS-Castle, blowing up a bridge and stab German sentries from behind. It might sound like a cliché filled, typical classic, and in someways it is, but here is where the similarities stops in comparison with all other vintage war flicks.
Some examples: The movie is European so you don't get to see Hollywood-ish standard crap, with Stars and stripes in slow motion, dying soldiers telling how much they love their wives and so on and so forth. Even, though many scenes are shot against animated backgrounds, it contains one of the best of it's kind, take notice of the huge field of scrap metal after the Americans have dropped a plethora of nasty bombs.
To be this a old, it's a movie that sometimes is breathtaking and I got flabbergasted by the fact how detailed and accurate the German army is portrayed; they wear Zeltbahn camouflage tunics, all German dialog is in German and it surpasses the standard phrases like: "Achtung!" and "Granate!".
Some scenes are in the same league as Cross of Iron and Sergio Leones spaghetti westerns. The french resistance are though and they all speak french and are not clowns.
You don't get to see Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers style violence, instead the action sequences are very stylized and rather gritty.
You don't get to know the main characters and the dialog seems deliberately directed in the course of being over the top unsentimental and cold.
It's very noir-ish in the way the dialog is spoken and those who long for a really crappy, laughable B-movie will be disappointed. It's 30 years old and contains many scenes seen in many movies made after Inglorious Bastards; the air of the movie is filled with scenes, seen in other movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Enemy at the Gates, Stalingrad, Das Boot.
Furthermore: Take notice of the color of blood. Back then you could only watch bloodbaths in orange, here the blood is really realistic. The scenery reminds me of scale model dioramas and train sets in combination with European country side.
1977 the Vietnam war marched into to the history books as a sadistic conflict and social democratic Sweden were a nation banning all sorts of military conflicts worlds wide. I suppose this was the reason why the Swedish public never got to see this. A true classic gone missing.
The not so cool parts are few but stands out. The scene (although Wehrmacht did "loan" enemy vehicles) where a huge convoy passes through is a bit over the top containing just a tad much American half tracks although most other vehicles are accurate and the T & A scene with naked Valkyries firing MP-40's are a bit to sleazy for my taste.
Summary: The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare, Guns of Navarone are pretty bad in comparison and I almost hold a tearful respect towards this movie in the course of being so obscured. Quentin Tarantino is the last person to re-write and direct a movie like this if he don't get a grip after his total fiasco Grindhouse: Deathproof.
Had this movie been made before Ryan and Brothers this would be the movie to set the standard with todays technique.
I enjoyed this movie very much, it's good to be positively surprised! This is a boy adventure well made and with the heart in the right place.
CSI: Miami (2002)
3 for the price of one
I guess this is, as much about exploitation of audience as it is about pleasing all corners of U.S. territory - So the next CSI would be shot on Hawaii or in Alaska. An more interesting take on the whole forensic/pathology/ballistics's, etc. idea would for instance to place it in the Victorian era in London or revolutionary France, where some of the greatest luxuries would be a ruler or a microscope; that to me would seem like a greater challenge.
There are three versions. I have chosen to review the Miami one since this land in the middle of the two others, although all three of them are equally naive and borderline stupid. If the reason is too present escapist, fastfood-like plots all three shows actually work quite well when you're home from work with a cold or suffer a hangover.
This is where all three shows fail on equal basis: 1. Forensic investigators do not run around with guns, turning the city they work in, into a Sam Peckinpah shoot out.
2. If any city would spend so much man power on every case, the city's economy would be ruined pretty quickly.
3. It would ad grit and realism if the CSI-teams failed every once in a while. When 15 minutes remain of every episode you pretty much loose interest if you haven't changed the channel already after the mandatory montage scene with electronica music pounding over the soundtrack while the investigators use q-tips and coloured liquids in different vials. Take Note: Laboratories don't look like post-modern night clubs as they do here.
4. If police employees would treat suspects/witnesses the way they do in all shows they would get no collaboration. If some muppet-officer would treat me the same way these teams treat people I would obstruct justice for the fun of it. They are so unlikeable (all the characters) you actually root for the bad guys to get away with the crime. They're all pretentious, rude, cold, unempathetic and unpleasant; had they been really persons they would never get into any academy unless they tried out for CCCP's KGB or Gestapo.
5. Why must every team leader pull this strained, cheesy one liner before every opening credit. If some prostitute is found sliced and diced in a hotel room the team leader always looks into the camera and says something like: "That was the last time she charged you an arm and a leg." No professional treats dead people with such disrespect, especially not after the victim suffered a violent death.
It's a kids show with over the top, tasteless violence and some really far-fetched stories.
Everybody Loves Raymond (1996)
A good reason to quit drinking
This is how you quit drinking!
It's ten o'clock on a Sunday morning and I wake up with a bad hangover or at least I used too. This used to happen too may times and then I found the perfect cure. Do not drink the day before, because if you do you are forced to wake up the next day and face the most obnoxious person in TV-history, Ray Romano.
In the end credits we read: "Based on the comedy of Ray Romano". What comedy? I am not an American but I've seen a few stand up acts from USA and most of it is funny, but in not even in the darkest corner of my imgagination can I even begin to understand how Romano's comedy would be like. Is this Romano's comedy? To go on the Leno show or Letterman and cut his pants legs?
Follow this chain of events and you have every episode of Everybody Loves Raymond:
Ray enters his kitchen and the audience laugh for some unexplained reason. He takes a bottle of beverage and starts to talk to his wife about how cool a game would be to watch. His wife says Ray has to do laundry/cut hedges/pick up kids/ or something along the line.
Rays parents enter and the audience laugh again. Rays mother comments the wife's cooking while his father says something funny about bowel movements and how stupid HIS wife is. Enter two twin (Age around)2 and the audience goes "Oww-aahh!" and then enter the daughter of the house. She shows a drawing; it later becomes a centre piece on the kitchen door.
Enter the brother. Ray's brother is called a cowardly, dumb, retarded bumhole by his entire family, yet again for some unknown reason. Ray's wife stands up for the brother.
Classic sit-com. split storyline. Ray want to see the game and maybe his brother has a problem with a date. Now we see every cliché in history of sit-coms evident and then the writers seem to go back to the drawing board, rinse, repeat.
Don't writers have any dignity, introspection, pride.
There is nothing lower in TV-comedy except the two shows that should not barely be mentioned: All of us and the catastrophe USA High.
Legends of the Fall (1994)
The third time around!
Hey Movie-goers! I'm a cynical bastard, a depraved animal, the worst of the worst according to the women watching this moving along side with me, said so in my dorm.
The Stupid barbed wire scene - I am speechless! The Tommy-gun scene! Come on! Is this a movie...? Tristan (Brad Pitt) is a joke, everybody knows how good looking he is but Hollywood must make Ormond think so too, three seconds after they meet.
I lost all respect for these great actors, except Pitt in Fight Club and Twelve Monkeys.
What garbage, a foul stench lingers because two times I wrote about this movie before and it was censored.
The Camera, The Fighting, This was almost as bad as God's and Generals
Day of the Dead 2: Contagium (2005)
Who taught these guys film making?
Amateurism is a wonderful thing. I admire all those people who pursue their dreams and overcome difficulties at all costs. While watching Day of the Dead 2 I told my friend that this seems to be made by a group of filmstudents as their graduation film and that they shot the movie after regular class and used the schools hallways and classrooms as their basic setting; putting in sweat and muscle and burning the midnight oil, pushing the envolope in the nocturnal hours to make a zombie movie, a genre they love; I was waiting for homages and only found a sign outside the mental hospital stating the name as Romero Ward.
I love bad movies as do my friend and we've shuffled through our fair share of those. As two veterans from wars like Pay Off Time, Project Kill starring Leslie Nielsen, Liscensed to Love and Kill, Hellish Beam, New Barbarians, Death Match, Legion of the Dead, The Fighter, Ninja Mission, Infested, the classic Plan 9 from Outer Space just to name a few, do give us certain rights to comment.
Day of the Dead 2 has one problem it's so bad in an unfunny way me and my friend actually felt physically ill and that seldomly happens except when you watch movies like Schindlers List or Letters from Iwo Jima.
The reason one does fell ill after this atrocity of a movie is because of the so many holes and it gets really embarrassing when you find out that this movie wasn't made by filmstudents or amateurs but professional filmmakers.
Spoilers! The Plot: It starts 1968, the very same year George A Romero gave the world his masterpiece Night of the Living Dead, when units out of the US-Army charge a mental hospital. Here they start to massacre the living dead, using military tactics like kids do playing paintball. I've served in the army, the Swedish though, but I guess the modern warfare are pretty much the same all over the world since their is this new invention called a hand grenade.
And now it starts to get funny: These so called soldiers fire their weapons and there is no recoil and no muzzle flame. One zombie is shot in the head... No he's not, some one with a squirt gun or a bucket outside the frame shoots/throws fake blood in his face.
The dullness of this long scene is monuments boring. Soldiers walk around and shoot people in their heads for almost ten minutes.
Notice the badly animated helicopter and that one soldier carries a Beretta 92F that wasn't produced or at least introduced to the US-Army back in 1968.
Now! Modern times. After this tremendously long opening prolouge we now get to see a group of men resting. Are they prisoners or menatl patients, we soon find out their the latter. Here one guy finds a thermos that very much bare recemblance to the one I carry with me to work. This is a military cannister containing something that make the dead living although their are actually no zombies in the sense that they come back from the grave.
Back at the mental hospital there is now a long scene where one guy tries to open the thermos and while finally succeding he and his comrades are exposed to something CGI-animated that could be a virus/alien spores/electric something-something.
Now all hell breaks lose. The living dies or do they, no one really knows because after having horrible wounds one night, they are scar free the next morning. They also shed skin, where a theory of being exposed to snake poison is presented. The filmmakers probably made the descision to have the setting placed in a mental hospital so stupid lines like that can be uttered.
The director of the hospital then tells his staff to take out the guns. Which freaking hospital have fire arms. People often end up in hospitals after being exposed to firearms, they don't go there to risk being shot!
Not hitting rock bottom just yet, this piece of work goes down hill. One zombie woman with a grizzly haircut is seen running around in one corridor. Next shot she's in a wheel chair and in the third she's outside the hospital.
Then this movie has some gross, speculative scenes with people vomiting and then eating their own puke and then there's this guy who is so messed up physically, it's so disgusting one can't eat properly for days afterwards. These scenes are just there so we, as viewers, should feel ill and make the filmmakers happy.