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52 reviews in total 
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Ned Kelly (2003)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Really brings nothing new, but is worth a watch, 24 December 2007

This film is not an action film, nor is it an adventure film. Except for brief moments, it features very little actual shooting. It's a drama, be aware of that. And unfortunately, it's not a very original or thought provoking drama. It's too shallow and too one-sided.

I've barely heard of Ned Kelly before I watched this film, but after watching The Proposition, I became very much interested in seeing what else Australia could muster up with an 1800's outback setting. I like westerns, so Australian westerns was an interesting alternative. I made sure to read up some on Ned Kelly before sitting down and watching the film. From what I gather, it was a fairly accurate retelling of his life, except some embellishment and a few sub-plots added for the sake of the script.

But like so many films these days, the film barely develops it's characters. Ned is developed thoroughly, for sure. But even his best friend Joe, only passes through the film as a guy who picks up a lot of chicks. Not to mention Ned's brother and his brother's friend. We feel more or less nothing for these. Had only these characters had one extra scene focusing sorely on them in the film, it might have made it a better experience. As it is now, the film feels like a drama, with the characterizations of an action film. Shallow and not intriguing.

Even so, it is a fairly interesting film. Heath Ledger plays his role well and the conflict between the common folks and the British Empire gets heavy focus. And if get the story, or legend as it's become, this is exactly what a Ned Kelly retelling should.

I also find it interesting to experience a film aimed at an Australian public. Being a fan of history, and of other cultures, I found it a good experience watching this film, and getting something in return. Learning a bit about Australian mentality. For all it's faults, it's an interesting film worthy of a glance if you're interested in the subject matter as well as a pretty and well filmed drama.

Alatriste (2006)
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Bad script, 3 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film could have been good. When you find an epic film produced in Spain, you expect it to be lacking in production design. You'd be wrong. This film looks grand and excellent, with action scenes that can rival Hollywoods and sets that will blow your mind away. But it tries to cover 6 books in 2½ hours! The result, as you can imagine, is a lot of incomprehensible jumps.

If you're interested in history, it is worth a look but otherwise you might as well skip it. They should have adapted 1 or 2 novels. Not all 3. The result is that none of the characters get any depth and except for Alatriste, no characters are that frequent. Not even his comrades or his lover get that many scenes and they are spread out across the film.

Very little is explained. The best example of this is the transition from a scene where Alatriste helps his young apprentice up from a shore to the final battle. Just like that, with no explanation, we're thrown into a battle in Flanders between France and Spain.

I very much enjoyed the action scenes however. Very well made. The film was also very gritty and brutal. A testament to this is how many people in this film are stabbed in the throat, or across it. A knife is an effective weapon that can quickly kill a man in a most undramatic way, but it is hard to portray this effectively on film. But here, the filmmakers do not try to glorify their action. They just show it as it could have happened in real life.

3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Lacking but interesting, 30 January 2007

It's interesting to see what the director tried to do with this film. But the problem is that it's not very good. There was nothing really original in the film and while the plot was well presented, the main characters were all a bit to shallow and you didn't bother for any of them.

Rather bland (and sometimes downright bad) photo leaves a bit to be desired but I guess you can't expect to much from people who are just doing a low budget film for the heck of it. It's unfair to review the film and compare it to other high-budget films. But alas, that is what one must do. On its own, it's not very good. And compared to others, it's still not very good. But it is not without its good points! I liked the plot. It was built up rather nicely and tied together well at the end. Sometimes in the really dark scenes, it managed to build up a creepy feeling as well.

However in the end the film fails to impress. The characters are pretty much non-existent and we don't care for any of them. Any of them might die, but it's possible to pinpoint the final "survivor" from very early on.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Good Historical Adventure, 27 January 2007

It's a good film. I just watched and expected more or less a cheesy adventure. And while the first 40 minutes of the film are as if lifted from a Hollywood adventure movie, it then unravels into something more intriguing and interesting. The ending is definitely worth waiting for. Lots of twists as well.

Swedish themes surge through the entire film, however. These might be hard to pick up for a non-Swede but they are there. The Swedish idea of pacifism and neutrality shows itself in form of the king (Gustaf Skarsgård) Carl XI, who only wants to kick the Danes out of his lands and sign a peace treaty. Evil, on the other hand, are not the Danes, but rather a greedy Nobleman who wants to conquer Denmark and all the states surrounding the Baltic Sea. This is a rather modern conception as well. Back then, Denmark and Sweden WERE enemies. And they probably did one-another as "evil".

The production value is surprisingly high. I was expecting something really poor in terms of... everything really. But the film team really pulled it off well. My only gripe is that in certain scenes where extras are involved, they pull of a really bad acting job. I don't know why, but Swedish filmmakers don't seem to give the same heart and soul into their extras as, say, Hollywood producers would.

In any case, the story is good. Keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next. It's not always perfectly paced, however. I found the film to pace badly towards the middle. But after awhile it comes back in full swing.

Watch it if you want to see a good adventure. Swedish people probably get to hung up on the fact that it's "Swedish" and thus dismiss it outright before they even see it. But it's good! Surprisingly good, actually. So if you're Swedish and have already decided that you're going to hate this film, don't bother. If you want a good historical adventure, on the other hand, then watch this!

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
It's not that bad, 1 October 2006

Don't get me wrong. This film is pretty bad. But it's definitely underrated. I believe a lot of people genuinely hate this film. But I also believe a lot of people just go with the hype and give it a low rating because they hear everyone else hates it.

The film, as far as I understand, has nothing to do with the games whatsoever. Which may be why a lot of people hate it. I never played the games, so I wouldn't know. But as for the plot, people do exaggerate how confusing it is. Heck, I've never played any Alone in the Dark games, I watched the movie on my computer while chatting with my friends and I wasn't that confused. So it can't be that bad. Granted there are a few things that are never explained, and leave you feeling dissatisfied at the end.

The "villain". Old professor who injects himself with demon blood and wants to unleash a bunch of demons to take over the world. OK, for this type of film that's perfectly acceptable. But we never ever get to know why he wants to do this, what made him turn evil or why he's even necessary to the plot. In fact, his presence is actually just needed at the very, very end for one very brief sequence. So he's a totally useless villain that can't help but to confuse the audience.

Then there's some jumping in time and very unlikely happenings. For example, in one scene Christian Slater and Tara Reid is attacked by zombies in his house. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Stephen Dorff and his gang shows up. Alright, I can buy that. But why does he bring Slater and Reid along to the old abandoned goldmine? And couldn't they at least explained to the audience a little better that they were going to look for the old portal mentioned at the beginning? Also, why the heck does Tara Reid, who works at a museum, follow Slater, Dorff and a team of elite agents down into alien infected territory? The script isn't smart. Nor is the dialog. But the acting is alright. It's very uneven, with Slater and Dorff giving good performances, a bunch of other guys giving mediocre and a good chunk of the cast giving awful, but at least Slater and Dorff manages. Likewise, the music is very uneven. When it tries to be suspenseful, it suffers. But in action scenes, it's good.

Speaking of the action scenes, they are fairly nice. Very well shot and visually impressive. To bad there's to little variation. It's basically just a bunch of agents shooting aliens with their automatic rifles over and over again. Gets tiresome after awhile, despite the music and the nice visuals.

I wouldn't mind it if Uwe Boll made a straight out action film sometime. In fact, it might turn out quite good. But suspense and plot are not his strong points.

Overall, it's a pretty dull movie. It's not really that bad. Just dull. That's it's main problem.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
It's good, but it's not great., 10 September 2006

I love sci-fi films. And I also love films that depict a utopian fantasy society, or dystopian rundown waterhole. I lump these into two different categories. Utopian society films are usually films where everything seems to be great, but when in actuality there is something very wrong. The public enjoys great health and luxury, but behind the facade the public is being oppressed. Examples like Equilibrium, Rollerball and Brazil come to mind.

Dystopian films usually depict a society where everything is just outright wrong, but freedom still exists. The world is, pretty much, a crap hole in either a very literal sense or for the people who live there. The world makes no attempt to cover up the fact that it is a crap hole, and the people don't really seem to mind either. Here we have Blade Runner and Gattaca.

The V for Vendetta film falls into the former category, but I wonder if you wouldn't put the comic book in the later category? In the film everything is to black and white. The good guys is too much of a good guy, the bad guy is an over-the-top bad guy and clichés are numerous.

If you just watch the film without prior knowledge about the comic book, you won't really care. But if you've read the comic book and know what it could have been, you'll realize that there could have been so much more to this film and a lot of it's faults are exposed. Stylistically this film is very good, but plot wise it's... not so good.

We've seen all of this before. A revolutionary fighting to bring down the corrupt oppressive society, where a dictator rules supreme. The twist is that this revolutionary is using modern day terrorist tactics, involving murder and bombings to further his cause. But since the film depicts him as very much of a good guy, his motives are never really questioned by the audience, like they SHOULD be. He's a good guy fighting for justice and revenge, what's not to like? Well, the problem is that we've seen this before. To many times, perhaps. The mere fact that he's using drastic measures isn't enough to make us dislike him.

And the bad guy? Well, compared to him, our good guy revolutionary looks like Jesus himself. This makes the film a bit dull, because we can all pretty much pinpoint exactly how the plot is going to develop from scene 1 and in the end we're right.

Now, the film is very well made. It's very stylistic and builds up quite nicely. If you like these kind of films, you'll like this one. The acting is great, the visuals fantastic and the atmosphere likewise. But the plot is lacking, and there's nothing really unique about this film.

So I suggest you watch this film if you're interested in this theme. But don't fool yourself, there are a lot of films out there on the same subject that are better. Including all of those I mentioned in the first two paragraphs.


2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
I didn't like it, 12 June 2006

I've seen plenty of "short story" films like this, examples being Creepshow 1, 2 and Tales from the Darkside. I like these kind of films, even though they are mostly pretty bad. I like them because they usually feature at least one story that will stick with you and deliver a heart wrenching ending. Films usually end on an upper note. Short stories never end on an upper note. That is why I like them. They differ.

But this film, while it had it's moments, doesn't really strike me as anything good at all. In fact it's very dull. There are four stories, directed by four different brilliant directors (John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller, in that order). All of the stories, except the prologue and the first one, are based on real Twilight Zone episodes.

So the film starts out with a very nice prologue, by John Landis. What follows is a story that's interesting at first, but doesn't really go anywhere. After the first twist, there is none more it gets boring. Nothing to grasp us, as an audience and keep us interested. It's about a man who, after lashing out against Jews, Africans and orientals, get thrown into another dimension - or the Twilight Zone if you will, where he is suddenly the oppressed... The Jew the Nazi wants to kill, the black guy the KKK wants to burn and the Vietnamese the Americans want to destroy. It goes on for quite awhile. Longer than necessary, and starts off nice but you'll be happy once it ends.

The second story is a cheerful and interesting story, which just happens to be incredibly dull as it basically has no plot. I liked some factors of it, for instance the fact that it brings up some rather nice philosophical questions and debates in a light hearted manner, but it's still quite boring. Directed by Steven Spielberg, which is probably why it's so sugar sweet. If you want to go and take a break from the film, do it during this segment. You won't miss anything: By the time you get back, nothing will have happened and they'll still be discussing the same things they did when you left the TV. The plot itself is about an old retirement home, where the people are either very depressed or suffering from some kind of disease. Hope comes along, in form of Scatman Crothers who has some interesting views on their situation. I love that guys work, but this segment still suffers.

The third story isn't really that interesting either, but at least it offers something for us to get interested by! Directed by Joe Dante, this story tells the tale of a school teacher who meets up with a young kid and his strange family. His family seems overly eager to please the young boy, and he has a mentally ill sister who only sits and stares blankly into the television set. Somehow, the boy seems to be the cause. But how? Not the best short story I've seen, but I'll have to admit that I was quite intrigued by why the family were so strange and it does offer a twist. Some scary and eerie moments here, such as the "Hat trick". The second best in the movie.

The fourth story, directed by (My favourite of the four) George Miller is definitely, without question, the best of the four stories. It's a horror story through and through, yet we aren't sure as to what we are seeing is real or made up. John Lithgow plays a character who has a deep fear of flying. When he suddenly spots some kind of creature on the wing, he panics. Nobody believes him of course, yet the creature persists and attempts to bring the plane down. There's only one flaw in this episode, and I think it's the ending. While it's good, I could think of numerous ways how it could have ended better.

The whole series is tied together at the end, where a character from the prologue returns to give us one last spook. Nice touch. But I won't be watching this film again, it's filled with too much dull air.


0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
It's true, it's pretty bad., 19 May 2006

But it's not as bad as I've heard some people make it out. Some people claim that the entire film, from start to finish, is one big turd. That's not quite so. There are some nice shots and... well, Jürgen Prochnow is in it. But that's it.

Apparently, there is a large rave on a big island in the middle of nowhere and a group of teens want to get to it. So they pay a strange fisherman (Prochnow) to get them there. When they arrive, they realize (well, at least one of them does) that something is out of place. That's right, something is out of place. The entire rave is empty, yet only one of the characters seem bothered by this.

Soon they are attacked by zombies and team up with other people to survive this hellish night. Or something like that.

Why did I watch this film? Because I wanted some zombie action. I wanted to see some people be bitten, scream and turn into zombies. To bad the zombies in this film are nothing like ordinary zombies. Forget anything you think you know about zombies. These guys are not tough. They're pushovers. Shoot them anywhere, and they go down. Also, they're fast. And they fight, with weapons and karate moves! As a matter of fact, these zombies are like ordinary humans except that they don't talk. It could have been any action movie out there, but just replaced the bad guys wardrobe with lots of rotting flesh.

The dialog is some of the worst I've ever heard. It's so ridiculous, and when coming out of these actor's mouths I can't help but to smile. It's really stupid, and laughable. But the problem with this film is that it's very dull. It's no "Plan 9 from Outer Space" where you can sit back and enjoy the lack of brains. It's just dull. The plot, the characters, the monsters. Everything! There's a lot of strange things going on as well. For example, there's a ten minute long action scene with people just shooting zombies in "cool" ways. Sure, could have worked for a minute or two. But for TEN MINUTES?! You'll be tempted to fast forward through that, trust me. Especially since it's very stupid. A bunch of rave teens suddenly turn into Neo, Trinity and Morpheus and karate kick, bullet-time jump and blast their way through hordes of zombies. And I mean, hordes! There must have been at least a hundred zombies or so killed in that sequence alone, if not more! Between scenes, there's shots from the game. It makes no sense, but they are there. Suddenly, computer graphics (from the game) pop up on the screen and you wonder what the hell is going on. Don't worry, it's just a scene transition.

One of the most boring films I've ever seen, and even so there's always something happening. That's when you know there's something wrong. But in all fairness, I HAVE seen worse films. There are a couple of stylished shots that look cool and since you walk in with low expectations you probably won't be that disappointed.

I give it a three. It's bad, it's not worth watching, but I've seen worse.

Blade II (2002)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
It just sucks, 22 April 2006

This sequel takes out everything that was good about the first film and adds in stuff that doesn't work at all. The marvelous action scenes are replaced by traditional Hollywood fights where you have no clue of what's going on and several times the director feels the need to use unrealistic CGI just to replace his actors. You can easily tell the difference between actors and the CGI versions of them, especially in this film. Trust me. Especially dumb is the scene in the beginning where Blade fights against another vampire, and it is shown from the side as if it was some kind of Mortal Kombat video game. You'll have to look hard for a dumber action scene, actually.

The Blade series is here turned into something much less mature and adult and into something that is even more dumbed down than the original (which was no Casablanca, but still good). Action at exactly every corner, lots of shooting and fighting and screaming. But no character. You don't really care for anyone in this film, not even Blade. Why is that? Because Blade is no longer the animal he was in the first film, he's much more refined here. He takes time to meditate, he actually lets a wounded vampire go and he does a lot of unnecessary sword moves for no other purpose than to get the audience to watch Wesley Snipes make his moves. In several scenes, Blade flashes his sword around despite being completely alone. Instead of cutting of a tube, he raises his sword and slashes in the air for five seconds before actually turning to cut the tube off. Why? It just looks dumb. Let's not forget the dumbed down rap music and hip characters they threw in. Compare the young and cool Scud to the old and weathered Whistler. Whistler kicks ass, whereas Scuds constant hip remarks are just annoying. Why didn't he die in scene one?

The visuals are very colorful. The colors are: Red and blue. That's it, you won't find any other colors here. It gets very tiresome after awhile, and the visuals are further damaged by the constant use of CGI even when it's not necessary! A lot of times CGI blood is added, or cgi characters. It just looks bad. Period.

Also, vampire lore is changed. The vampires no longer put up a fight at all, instead they die just by a single gunshot wound. In the original, Blade actually had some trouble beating a few vampires and was taken down by a few of them in some scenes! Here, they go down dime-a-dozen and one wonders why we have to go through two hours of Blade just kicking immense ass in action scenes that are rehashed over and over and over again.

Let's not forget the obvious plot holes and character mistakes. In one scene Whistler, an old vampire hunter, knocks out a vampire villain, grabs a sword and then... Takes off? Why the hell didn't he just turn that sword on the already knocked out vampire and save Blade some trouble? What kind of vampire hunter does NOT kill an evil vampire when he has him under his blade? Stuff like this is abundant all the way through, and makes you sit uneasy in your seat.

Also, the villain is nowhere near as characteristic or colorful as Deacon Frost in the original. It's just a bald headed, pale super vampire who can take out anyone except for Blade. We don't give a crap about the stupid sub plot they threw in about him, or any of the other stupid subplots.

Gah, it hurts my head just thinking about this mess. Avoid.

Blade (1998)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Norrington is a genius, 22 April 2006

You'll not find a better pop corn flick, no matter how hard you try. Blade is an excellent film from the Kung Fu inspired fight scenes to the acting of Wesley Snipes.

Blade is a Daywalker, a human with some vampire powers. He has their strength and their regeneration power, but also their thirst. He hunts vampires for a living and that's pretty much the plot. In this film, he goes up against the villainous Deacon Frost who wants to put an end to mankind once and for all and rule over them. Even though Stephen Dorff won't strike you as the coolest villain ever, he is still way more memorable than anything the other Blade films will offer.

Kris Kristofferson plays Blade's mentor Whistler who is an aging vampire hunter himself. Even though Kristofferson is just an old country singer, he's definitely ideal for his role. Some of his lines are just golden.

Stephen Norrington definitely cooked together one of the best action films I've ever seen. Now it's not something that will etch itself onto your mind and stay there forever but as far as dumb action films go this is great. The action scenes are obviously inspired by kung fu films where western slug fights are matched with eastern camera controls. Not an abuse of quick cuts that Hollywood films usually prefer and instead we get a full view of the fight which is very effective.

Other than that, Blade is in this film much different than in the lackluster sequels. Here he is an animal, his hatred for vampires is obvious and he'll do anything and kick anyones ass to get them. Again, this was not present in the sequels where Blade is instead a show off. He spins his sword in nine different cool ways before finally cutting and nobody knows why. That's why you should see this film, and avoid the sequels at all costs. Norrington is one of the best action directors out there, and it's to bad he hasn't done more films.

Rent or buy this film. But at least see it. It's an excellent pop corn action flick. As good as you'll find, actually.


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