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44 reviews in total 
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Night Owls (2015)
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Original and refreshing take on romantic comedies, 16 December 2015

Night Owls is a good and refreshing flick and if you already have to watch something in this genre, it might as well be the best that the genre has to offer at this time. Very strong slapstick vibe and raunchy jokes will make you forget that at its core Night Owls is a classic romance movie. And this is not a bad thing, it's just there have been so many of them and almost all of them were horrible and generic, made just to milk the audiences for more money. This one takes things in a different direction.

Kevin is one those guys who just work and work, with occasional outburst intended to prove that he's still alive. This time that outburst involves Madeline, a troubled girl who likes Kevin and the two of them spend the night together. Next thing you know Kevin finds Madeline lying unconscious in the toilet...

Another thing that will entertain you is the fact that the movie is happening in almost real-time. This adds more tension to the atmosphere and a deadline that you see coming as the movie progresses, making time go faster and faster. Dynamic relationship between Kevin and Madeline is the core of this movie. They transition very quickly from strangers, friends, lovers, enemies and whole bunch of other stuff, keeping the movie interesting and further examining their relationship. How do you test a hypothesis: you take it to the extreme. This time the setup was a bit extreme, but still well thought out so our characters have lot to deal with, making Night Owls a movie you should check out.

Dead Mine (2012)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Exotic location, exotic vibe, mediocre movie..., 22 May 2013

By now we are used to seeing all sorts of horrors coming to us from Asia, but they all had one thing in common, they were seriously messed up, with rare exceptions. Dead Mine, an Indonesian medium budget movie takes an almost textbook approach to storytelling, and while graphic violence is present, it isn't sick or anything, but just as I said more classically bloody that we are used to seeing in American horrors. The movie itself is nothing special, but the exotic locations,cast and story make up for that. The director Steven Sheil managed to make the movie look really good, with some innovative camera angles and relatively suspenseful scenes, sacrificing reality for looks. Although when the movie's about zombies, Second World War and strange things lurking in the depths of the mine, reality discussion is really not a valid one.

An expedition led by a very wealthy, I guess scientist, called Price has finally found the thing they were looking for in Indonesia, an old abandoned bunker from WW 2. Price, accompanied by his girlfriend, a Japanese journalist on a quest to find out more about the war and a bunch of mercenaries in charge of their safety, decides to take a closer look. As soon as he said it, they were attacked by a local gang and forced to find shelter in the mine that has been converted into a bunker. After the cave in, they find themselves trapped in the mine with only one option, to push forward, into the darkness. What they don't know is that the mine is not abandoned, but far from it...

Fascination by Nazi zombies is something that has kept filmmakers in Europe occupied for quite some time, but now we are seeing this trend in Asia with Japans soldiers. While the directing was good and they managed to make Dead Mine look visually great, the story and the dialogue needs to be better. The thing that I missed the most is the suspense building up as they go deeper and deeper into the mine... Check out Dead Snow, a movie with a similar subject if you liked Dead Mine. It's not the best movie out there, but it's worth a watch...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly great, thanks to Tommy Wirkola.., 21 May 2013

What, there's a new movie about Hansel & Gretel, wow I would like to see that! After about twenty minutes into the movie: what, they are going to hunt witches all the time, this is the movie? Well, yes, the movie is called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, it stands to reason that they would spend most of the time in the movie hunting down witches (and burning them, mmm crispy). Yet another one of those "what if" or "spin on a classic tale" movies that has come out in the recent years, but oddly enough I really liked this one. I mean, as much as you can like a movie like this, it's really great for the first viewing and the replay value due to the awesome visual effects is also big, but still, it's missing that key element, that undefinable thing that some movies just have whether it's the mood of the movie, actors, conditions of the shoot or something else that would make this a cult classic. In case you are wondering is there any violence at all in this movie and why should I see it, check out the rant after the summary.

You all know the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel, so you are somewhat prepared for the surprise that is coming (well, fully prepared considering the title of the movie). Movie picks up years after they slaughtered the witch, and features Hansel and Gretel all grown up (especially Gretel, yummy), who are now witch hunters. Blessed by some magic, they impervious to witches spells making them the ultimate killing machines, especially with the huge arsenal that they have at their disposal (Gretels shotgun and Hansels cannon :). They are hired by the mayor of the small town of Augsburg to find out who is taking children and are they alive. A suspected usual witchcraft gig will soon turn into something much more serious and threatening and two siblings will have to battle one of the most powerful witches in the world and her many followers...

Dismemberment, blood, decapitations, eviscerations and all the other fun acts of violence that you wouldn't expect to see in a "kiddie" movie are here. There's even a nude scene, granted it's quite short, but still enough to raise a few eyebrows (or other things). And to all those puritans who are now screaming oh my gosh, that is a children's book, please go online and read the original stories that are filled with murder, mayhem and mutilation, not to mention some sick and perverse ideas. So this is a full blown fun ride with cool "steampunked" weapons and phenomenal special effects. This all would be for nothing if the director didn't know what he's doing, but luckily for us he does. Tommy Wirkola is the man! After Dead Snow, also a great movie, he strikes again! Camera work, action sequences, chases and everything else is done very professionally. To me, the style seemed like an homage to the Evil Dead franchise. And the witches are really scary, wet your pants scary, better call Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (if you can afford them of course, maybe they have some sort of payment plan or something, who knows...) Movie recommendations - Only movies worth watching

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Great black comedy..., 20 May 2013

In case you are in a mood for that special blend of black humor, realistic characters and difficult, but funny situations that actually happen in real life Amatørene is the movie for you. Granted, it is a bit more obscure than the usual black comedies that we are used to, but only by recognition, this is a phenomenal movie that is waiting to be discovered. The concept is pretty much simple, you take one average (maybe below, sorry) guy and his life and make that at an almost every junction in his life he makes a wrong turn. His life sucks, and he didn't deserve this, but if you can identify yourself with him and some of his problems you can actually help yourself, it's always good to get some perspective on your life… But don't get me wrong, its not preachy or anything, just cleverly and relatively realistically written, with situations that happen to almost anyone at one point in life (what, they could totally happen...).

Lets face it, Jan is a loser… He lives with his father who harasses him constantly, while running a fast food joint that is not doing well, and by not doing well I mean its bankrupt. While we are on the harassment subject, he also has a girlfriend, well 'nuff said. With no way out, and his life slowly falling apart, especially since his girlfriend left him (even that isn't as good as it sounds for him), he is desperate. So, when he accidentally gets involved in a kidnapping of a famous rock star, he decides that enough is enough…

Great thing about movies like this is that you can watch them as a bunch of interesting and funny stuff or you can get all analytical and stuff, and follow one mans journey through some rough times. In the end, the life is a journey, not a destination (totally quote worthy), and maybe we should all treat it like that, with a positive spin and attitude…

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Pawn (2013/I)
10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
This freight train stops for no one..., 25 April 2013

Pawn. Pawn is the reason why I watch too many boring or just plain bad movies (or start watching), because out of every 20 bad movies there is one, just one, as awesome as this one. It comes at you as a freight train, just wrecking everything in front of it and it keeps going 'till it hits the end. Nerve-wrecking and incredibly intense, the thing that blew me away was the script with its twists and turns. And these were clever and well thought out twists and turns, worthy of a much bigger budget. Although I wouldn't change a thing in Pawn, the cast was phenomenal, a compliment of experienced and rugged actors who know how to do what the directors asks and when to do it. Production values were also great, so you will have a feeling that you're watching some big block buster.

Nick is a car thief who just got out of prison, determined to change his life, for his and his families sake. His wife is pregnant, and this is the time to man up and take some responsibility. He goes to a local diner, not knowing what will happen in just a few minutes. A band of criminals led by the ruthless and charismatic Derrick, storm the diner while Nick was in the bathroom. Soon they round up all the guests, all but one who's hiding in the bathroom. At the same time Will, a policeman stops his car in front of the diner and lights up a smoke. Then all hell breaks loose...

Used to Michael Chiklis as Detective Vic Mackey, it was a bit strange to hear him talk with an English accent, but as the wise hooker once said it is cute. The rest of the characters were well developed and with excellent and believable motives for their actions. There was nothing that was sacrificed to drive the story forward, and this is a very rare thing, although the very end was just a tiny bit rushed or it seemed that way because of all the excitement that happened earlier. Just at the time when you think that you know what's going on, and who is who another twists punches you in the gut. This freight train stops for no one.

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Extracted (2012)
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Great sci-fi indie movie, 27 March 2013

Utterly confused about the title of this movie (it's either Extraction or Extracted) and its quality I dived in it, expecting nothing. What I got in return was something that seemed really innovative and new, but was actually a really old idea with a twist. It all revolves around a device that allows you to access and immerse yourself into other people memories and experiences, much like the movie Strange Days [1995]. This time we can witness how that device was made and funded, and eventually tested. The clash of the science and real, corrupt and devious world is another thing that I liked about Extracted. Although the hipster assistant was a bit too much. The cast is relatively unknown but they did their job really good. Dominic Bogart (Anthony) stole the show from lead actor Sasha Roiz (Tom), as the drug addicted accused of murdering his girlfriend. This doesn't mean that Sasha was bad, but just that Dominic was more passionate and realistic. Sasha redeemed himself, either intentionally or unintentionally, by giving his character a dose of douchiness, showing us that not everything is black or white.

Tom and Eric are a couple of scientist working on a machine that would allow them to go into peoples minds and memories. The main purpose of this device is to help autistic and other people with severe psychological and physical disabilities, but as the research starts to reach its critical phase they are forced to take funding no matter what obligations it may bring. Through Richard, their middleman, they contact a mysterious stranger who is willing to fund their research. As it turns out the mysterious stranger had some other things in mind when he decided to invest, but one thing remained the same, the test. They meet on a remote farm in the country, and there it all goes as planned, right up 'till the end where Tom is supposed to exit the subjects mind…

The real rating of this movie should be 7 or 8, but I am giving it a 9 to encourage filmmakers and others to follow their example. With a unique script, several overlapping stories which all make you think and look at things from another perspective, Extracted is an example of how science fiction movie with a restricted budget should be made. You start with a very good concept idea, build characters on it, hire the right people to play them and eventually direct the whole thing. A job well done…

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Intacto (2001)
Original concept, but a bit incoherent, 21 March 2013

After a small break, we are continuing our exploration of Spanish cinema, this time with a thriller that we might label as supernatural, although it seems that it isn't. Is there such a thing as luck, and are some people luckier then others? I think that most of us asked these questions at some point in our lives, but for Intacto the thing is quite clear. There is such a thing called luck and some people are luckier than others, but only because they steal that luck by touching others. A quite interesting concept that led to this movie, and I am sure will lead to its remake sometime in the future. Directed and written by a talented Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and starring Max von Sydow and Mónica López, Intacto questions the basic human beliefs, although this depends on how you perceive the world around you.

Tomás is the only survivor of a horrible plane crash, suffering only minor injuries. As it turns out, Tomás isn't just a lucky survivor, he's also a bank robber, wanted for an armed robbery. Before law enforcement got to question him, he is approached by a man claiming to be working for an insurance company. He offers him a way out of his current predicament and into something much larger, a game with huge stakes, explaining that he can actually can control his luck and use it to his benefit. Actually, there is a whole underworld of people who consider themselves lucky and gamble with it. The rewards are enormous, thrills unparalleled and eventually, consequences can be lethal. In this hierarchy, there is a king, and his name is Samuel, an undefeated ruler of luck, reigning for over thirty years. Love, fear, death and gambling, a perfect combination…

The movie itself might seem a bit stretched, but this is only because we are used to fast paced thrillers that leave no time for thinking and further pontification of story. Although, I must admit that the story could be a bit more coherent, because it seems that the glue that binds the scenes was relatively scarce… As a final note, my opinion concerning luck and the whole concept of it in this movie: I don't believe that there is such a thing as luck, its all just a statistical coincidence. At this time we must make a distinction between different perspectives, lets say that we take 100.000 people and throw them from a plane without a parachute. Then we take people who survive this and make them run through a minefield. If we don't have a winner at first we repeat the experiment. The guy that survives all this to us as neutral observers is a statistical probability and reality, but from his perspective he is lucky. The thing that instantly classified this movie to fantasy is the fact that you can rob someone of their luck by touching them. But thats just me, feel free to form your own opinion and enjoy…

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This Is 40 (2012)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Although rich and a bit spoiled, still relevant and funny..., 14 March 2013

This is 40 could be easily renamed to This is 30 or This is the life of a married, urban couple with kids. Judd Apatow outdone himself with this little flick, starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, as he made a combination of all those little things that make a life for a man or a women in their forties. Of course, you don't have to be that age to identify yourself with the characters and situations, all you need is a stable relationship that lasted longer than a year and you will be in familiar territory. All those little and not so little fights, constant nagging and problems of various nature: financial, emotional and physical. If you ever watched any of the C.K. Louis shows you know what are you in for.

An almost documentary storytelling combined with good acting and a phenomenal and brutally honest script created a movie that will make you laugh really hard, but on the other hand, also examine your life and where you are in your current relationship. This roller-coaster of emotions is not easy to handle but we have good guides on this journey. It's difficult to admit certain things, and when they are staring back at you from the screen, they are much harder to ignore. As for the story, there's no classical structured plot, but more a series of events that happen to a married couple with two kids as they live their lives. Pete owns his own record label that promotes classical rock and is having financial difficulties, and his wife Debbie owns a clothing store that is doing quite well, but she is suspecting that one her employees is stealing from her.

This is 40 is one of those movies that you either get or don't get, there is no middle ground. Those who don't get will find it quite boring, irritating and too long, while those who do get it will enjoy saying that happens to me to. And this is the main point of this movie, nobody talks about personal problems in their lives to all the people around them(with the exception of their closest friends) and now we have the opportunity to look into a life of another couple and say we are so similar, identify with their problems and solutions with the ultimately satisfying experience that we are not alone and that the same stuff happens to most people, but they don't talk about it openly.

One final note that I cannot avoid is the social critique of the couple featured in this movie. They are both rich, own their own businesses and a big house with enough money to indulge in risky financial moves, and from my perspective they act as two spoiled, adolescent brats without any regard for the future or their children. A true example of the new spoiled and overindulged middle class that somehow miraculously formed in the US. Take an average couple without money and give them a tenth of these guys have and they will be happy for the rest of their lives. But then again, these families exist and their problems are real for them, so its just all a matter of perspective.

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Gambit (2012/I)
8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A relaxing comedy with an excellent cast..., 13 March 2013

You know that relaxing movie that you wanna play sometimes, but you're ashamed to, you know what I mean... That mix of comedy, somewhat intelligent humor and a good cast to top it all off, but not too romantic, modern or lame... Well, these are the gambits you are looking for (actually gambit, but then I couldn't make that Star Wars reference showing you that, I too, have watched the trilogy at some point (oh wait, is that another remark about Star Wars, now showing that I don't acknowledge the last three parts(oh snap, we got some Inception stuff right here...))). Anywhoo, Gambit is a cleverly written light comedy with an excellent cast, each character seems to be specifically written for that actor, although this movie could have been starring a completely different cast: Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock, and Ben Kingsley.

Lionel Shahbandar, a media mogul and a lord has one more title to his name, a horrible boss. Especially to his curator Harry Deane (Colin Firth, long live the king) who looks after his art collection, a simple fellow with good manners and a big heart, but really depressed because of the fact he has to be humiliated on a daily basis by his pompous boss. Harry and his good friend Major, devise a plan to stick it to the man, well in this case, Lord Shahbandar, magnificently played by the almighty Alan Rickman. This complicated and yet simple scheme involves a third person that could not be farther from the business and art world, miss PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz). PJ is a country girl from Texas, that enjoy cattle rustling and plucking chickens, so a plan that will make her rich very quickly sounds very good to her. But, as in all good plans, things don't go quite well as you would expect them to...

Written by the Coen brothers who brought you many legendary movies, Gambit is good for one watching and perhaps a second, when you accidentally catch it on cable. Still, I liked how the romance was shifted out of the focus, and the clumsiness of our dear fellow Harry brought into the spotlight. In the scenes which take place in a hotel, he reminded me very much of a timeless performance by Peter Sellers in the movie The Party (1968). Other than that, I think that this sums up my thoughts about this movie, enjoy...

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Dredd (2012)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Great movie, despite the 3D and the studios..., 24 February 2013

Hurray, another movie from the nineties is getting a remake! Wow, I can't wait to see more of these, said no one ever... But wait, there's more... This one is in 3D, with like stuff flying into your face. I am so tired of writing reviews for movies that suffer the same flaw, quick cash. They are looking to interest people to check out the movie in 3D in theaters and make a quick buck, turning it into a product and applying to it all the rules that apply to any other product (shampoo, condoms...). Unless you are watching the 3D version, you will be forced to "enjoy" prolonged sequences of stuff slowly moving and flying towards you, cramming the 3D down your throat with nothing left to do but to swallow (giggity or I guess gaggity) So, I guess you are wondering why I it is worth watching after all that. The reason for that is a small miracle that the director and cast managed to produce. Very talented director Pete Travis managed to create a really good movie, working within the constraints set by the studio. Not to mention Karl Urban, a magnificent actor with only one smudge in his resume (Pathfinder), but he redeemed himself for that with the passion and skill that he approached the Star Trek reboot. To seal the deal we have Lena Headey, now starring in Game Of Thrones, playing the evil bitch and loving it.

They did stray a lot from the original movie starring Sylvester Stallone from 1995 and did a "Game of Death" thing. To clarify that term, it refers to a level based movie, where the protagonist are constrained to one building and they are slowly advancing to the top floor where the boss is waiting for them (although she is a hot, sexy female boss). Used also in Punisher 2, and more recently in The Raid: Redemption, this style suits and I guess other gamers that are quite familiar with the concept. While the original tried to show us how would do future look, Dredd is more concentrated on the action and the characters, and while I prefer the latter one in most of the movies, in science fiction I much more enjoy seeing how would do future look, but then again this is a personal preference.

The decay of our society, in almost all areas continued and in the future people live in huge megalopolises where the justice is dealt swiftly by the Judges. They are literally the judge, jury and the executioners, determining on the spot whether someone deserves to die and what is his punishment. The most bad-ass of them all is Judge Dredd, the most skilled and efficient Judge ever to be in Mega City One. Of course the opposite of Dredd's experience and skill is a young female Judge Cassandra Anderson. Cassandra possess some psychotic abilities, and seems to be a promising Judge so Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate her. This will all change when the two of them are called into an infamous building complex under control by a ruthless criminal known only as Ma-Ma.

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