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paul_haakonsen

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A messy storyline makes for a mediocre mystery movie..., 31 August 2017
5/10

I was not familiar with the existence of this movie prior to happening to find it by sheer random luck. And as a fan of Asian cinema, then of course I picked it up and gave it a go. I must admit that I had some expectations for the movie, as the synopsis made the movie sound like it could be a very interesting one. And for the vast majority, then Asian cinema tends to put out rather enjoyable movies.

"Cherry Returns" turned out to be a mediocre mystery movie with elements of crime and drama. However, it was the mystery that was the main focus of the movie.

The storyline was adequate, although it was horribly forced and artificial in a way, which ultimately dragged the movie down into a mediocre soup of a story.

I was only familiar with Ka Tung Lam on the cast list, and he wasn't even in a particularly big role here. So it was sort of refreshing to see entirely new faces on the screen, and I will say that people were doing good enough jobs with their given roles and characters, although they were restricted and limited by the script and by director Chris Chow.

"Cherry Returns" was a somewhat muddled mess of a movie, as director Chris Chow was trying to accomplish way too much and effectively tripping over his own attempts in the process.

The storyline progress at an adequate pacing, although it just comes off as being too random and apparently the red line got cut somewhere along the way, and the movie struggled to find its way back and never got back on track.

The editing of the movie was also somewhat of a confusing end result, because the cuts and transitions between some scenes was just too abrupt and really lacked a coherent and smooth transition to further the storyline. I will say that the production value of the movie was top notch, so thumbs up on that part at least.

And while most of this movie does take place in Hong Kong, it is always frustrating to have to sit through Mandarin dialogue, especially since it should be Cantonese. Sure, I get that some people also speak Mandarin in Hong Kong, but it is not the native tongue there.

This was hardly an outstanding movie to the Hong Kong / Chinese cinema. It was adequate enough for a single viewing, for sure. But other than that, don't get your hopes up for this train wreck of a story.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
You will be begging for cryo-sleep..., 31 August 2017
3/10

I did not know about this movie's existence when I happened to find it while browsing through the sci-fi section of movies. And reading the synopsis for the movie, I can't really claim to be overly thrilled, but I still decided to give the movie a chance, in order to branch out and watch more sci-fi than I usually get around to do.

Well, I suppose that "Alien Reign of Man" was hardly the best of choices for doing so, as it was a very bland and uneventful movie, that trotted on in a very monotonous pace and offering very little in terms of entertainment and storyline.

The CGI used in the movie was a mixed result; some of it actually looked fair and good enough, while other effects were just downright abysmal to look at, and makes you wonder just how something that obviously fake makes it past the editing table.

As for the characters in the movie, well let's just say that they are one-dimensional and that they are effectively faceless and pointless drones delivering equally pointless dialogue. I assume that this was the fault of writer/director Justin Price, because the actors and actresses seemed to actually be doing fair enough jobs with the limitations imposed on them by the lack of a proper script and storyline. This was the first time that I have seen the actress Khu in a movie, and I must admit that she really carried this movie single-handedly with her performance, just a shame that the movie turned out as bad as it did.

I will say that they found some fairly good locations for shooting the movie, as there is a pseudo-otherworldly feel to the scenery. And spiced up with some CGI, it just works all the better in favor of the movie.

The costumes in the movie were actually quite alright, so thumbs up for the wardrobe and costume design. "Alien Reign of Man" was a very weak addition to the sci-fi genre, and it hardly made any impact at all as it came and went without stirring a ruckus. If you make it through the movie the first time around, it is highly doubtful that you will actually take the time or the effort to sit down and watch it a second time around.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Hardly a memorable or outstanding addition to the Batman legacy..., 30 August 2017
5/10

Now, I don't call myself a fan of the superhero genre, but at least the Batman concept is a less bitter pill to swallow as he relies on gadgets and doesn't fly around with otherworldly powers. And while I don't go out of my way to get to watch the numerous Batman animated movies, then I do occasionally get to watch one every now and then.

I had no particular expectations to "Batman and Harley Quinn" when I sat down to watch it with my son. And I must admit that I didn't find "Batman and Harley Quinn" to be an outstanding addition to the legacy of Batman in any particular way.

The story was bland and it seemed a bit rushed and forced, which spilled over into the overall enjoyment of this 2017 animated movie. It hardly seemed like it was a necessary storyline to the Batman universe.

As for the animation and art style, well it was adequate. But it was leaning too much towards a kiddie animation for my liking, and by that I mean resembling the style from the animated Batman series.

The voice acting, however, was quite good. And having proper voice actors in an animated movie is a make or break situation. However, I didn't recognize any of the voices, and had to look it up here on IMDb to check who actually voiced the different characters.

"Batman and Harley Quinn" probably cash in on the success of the Harley Quinn character from the "Suicide Squad" movie.

My rating of "Batman and Harley Quinn" is a very mediocre 5 out of 10 stars.

A flaccid mummy movie..., 30 August 2017
4/10

Oddly enough, then "Tale of the Mummy" had fully evaded me and slipped past my radar. And it wasn't before 2017 that I happened to find it as I was browsing through the horror section. Being a movie that includes a mummy and being a horror movie, I naturally found it interesting and immediately decided to give it a chance, without reading the synopsis or taking notice of who starred in it.

The movie does start out in an adequate pace, and does establish some characters pretty early on, which was good for the movie.

"Tale of the Mummy" has an adequate storyline, although parts of it seemed a bit forced. The storyline is simplistic and very easy to follow, making it feel like writers Keith Williams, John Esposito, Russell Mulcahy and writer/director Russell Mulcahy were followed a generic blueprint of 'how-to-make-a-mummy-movie'.

I must admit that I was more than genuinely impressed with the ensemble of cast that had been hired for this movie, because there are some rather good names on the cast list here. It was a nice surprise to see the likes of Christopher Lee, Gerard Butler, Lysette Anthony, Sean Pertwee, Shelley Duvall, Jon Polito, Jason Scott Lee and Michael Lerner in a movie such as this.

The effects in "Tale of the Mummy" were quite good and actually do, to some extend, still hold their ground even today. So thumbs up for the special effects team that worked on the movie.

It was kind of funny how adept the awakened mummy was at speaking English and speaking it flawlessly.

The movie does let off some of its momentum once it makes it past the halfway marker. Which is a bit of a shame. The movie in whole doesn't really stand out and is not a particularly memorable addition to the mummy movie genre.

And the ending of the movie? Wow, seriously? That had to be one of the most ridiculous endings in the history of mummy movies. It was so phenomenally bad that it has to be seen to believe.

Moth (2016/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Equipped with a shaky camera and a non-existing storyline. Not the greatest of combos..., 30 August 2017
2/10

Sometimes you just got to stop and heed the warning signs found listed for certain movies here on IMDb. I opted to ignore them and decided to sit down to watch "Moth" because the concept sounded alright and the cover for the movie seemed interesting.

However, this 2016 movie turned out to be an ordeal of a movie to sit through. Why? Well, because it is incredibly slow paced, and also because the character gallery in the movie is very flaccid and quite far from being interesting in any way. The characters are one-dimensional and doesn't hold much of anything to make you take a liking to them.

The dialogue in the movie didn't really do much to help the pacing of the movie, nor did it do anything to promote the characters. The writing of the dialogue was uninspiring and the delivery of the dialogue by the cast was monotonous and was a bit difficult to take serious.

"Moth" is the type of movie where you sit and watch it as you think 'I could just as easily have filmed that myself'. The camera is all over the place, and it feels like a home-made movie in every aspect. This particular style of movie presentation is one that I am not very fond of.

The movie runs with a minimalist cast, which means that there is some expectancy riding on the shoulders of those performing in the movie. And when the cast fails to deliver anything worthwhile, the entire movie just comes tumbling down hard.

And it doesn't really work well in favor of the movie that there is so little happening throughout the course of the entire movie that you will be a great risk of actually hearing your own snoring as the movie trots on at a snail speed pace.

So do take heed of the warning signs and flashing symbols that scream at you not to waste your time, money and effort on movies such as this. Some of us failed to heed the warning and find ourselves with time taken away from us that we will never get back, and got nothing in return for this trade off in terms of enjoyment of a fulfilling movie.

"Moth" scores a meager 2 out of 10 stars from me. And this is without a doubt a movie that I will never return to a second time.

Rabid (1977)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Pray it doesn't happen to you..., 29 August 2017
3/10

As big of a name that David Cronenberg is in the horror scene, then I can't really claim to be a fan of everything that he touches. I have never heard about "Rabid" before I happened to stumble upon in this late in 2017. I read the synopsis and it sounded like something that could potentially be alright, as it did have that zombiesque vibe to it.

I managed to endure 30 minutes of "Rabid" before I gave up out of sheer and utter boredom. I actually found myself with my mobile phone in my hand and was playing a game while watching this movie. Yeah, it was that boring to me.

From what I managed to see during the 30 minutes that I sat through, then there was nothing appealing or interesting here that fell into my taste and preference. So I can in all honesty say that I am not going to return to watch "Rabid" later on in order to finish it.

As for the cast and their acting talents, well, I can't really complain about anything here. The acting seemed adequate considering that the movie was from 1977 and given the limitations of the script and storyline imposed on them.

"Rabid" didn't really make much use of special effects in the 30 minutes that I managed to endure. So whether or not the movie actually did well on the effects department, that I cannot make a proper statement about.

This was a rather bland and uneventful 30 minutes that I will never get back. And from what I saw, then my rating of "Rabid" is a meager 3 out of 10 stars, and I do feel somewhat large and generous here actually. The movie cover boasted "Pray it doesn't happen to you", which actually happened to summarize the feeling of having to sit down to watch the movie quite well.

Zygote (2017)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
"The Thing" and Dakota Fanning..., 29 August 2017
7/10

Running at just over 20 minutes, then "Zygote" was initially a movie that I would have passed on, as I am not keen on short films. But I read the synopsis for it and found it to be sounding like it might actually be worth the time and effort.

And let me be the first to say wow! "Zygote" turned out to be a rather entertaining and thrilling short film. I must admit that writers Thomas Sweterlitsch, Terri Tatchell and writer/director Neill Blomkamp had put together something quite good.

Sure, this was blatantly an imitation of "The Thing", but that hardly mattered, because "Zygote" in your face from the very beginning. There wasn't any tallying about.

And with a cast that included just two people, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Dakota Fanning, then there was a certain amount of pressure riding on the two performers. It should be said that they did perform quite well and carried the movie phenomenally. It was a rather nice surprise to see Dakota Fanning in a movie such as this.

The creature was rather interesting and it definitely came off as being realistic given the impressive CGI used. So thumbs up for the CGI and special effects department on their accomplishment here.

It would be great to see "Zygote" as a full length feature film, although I can't really see what it would bring to the genre that hasn't already been done and seen in movies such as "The Thing". But still, with the entertainment level that they managed to pull off with just 20 minutes, then it would be fun to watch a full length movie with this stuff.

"Zygote" is definitely well worth the time and effort if you enjoyed "The Thing". I am rating "Zygote" 7 out of 10 stars.

A surprisingly entertaining Halloween anthology..., 29 August 2017
7/10

Now, I will say that anthologies is usually something that I am not overly keen on because they are mostly too shallow and you hardly get invested in the segments as they tend to be too short in time. However, I must admit to being more than pleasantly surprised with the outcome of "Tales of Halloween".

This anthology is comprised of ten stories spanning 1 hour and 32 minutes in total, which makes for a small amount of time per segment, for sure. But what works in this anthology is that the segments are precise and to the point; there is no trotting about and wasting time. But better yet, the fact that each of the stories is connected with another stories in the anthology just makes it all the more enjoyable and watchable.

Most of the stories were quite good, and there definitely was a good variety of stories here, so there is something for just about everyone in the audience, whatever your preferences and tastes may be.

What really impressed me in "Tales of Halloween" was the amount of familiar actors and actresses that they had popping up in all of the segments. It was an actual joy of sitting and recognizing familiar faces and trying to spot them. The cast includes names such as Barry Bostwick, Lin Shaye, Barbara Crampton, Stuart Gordon, James Duval, John Savage, Lombardo Boyar and more. So there definitely was a bunch of talents to be seen here.

"Tales of Halloween" is listed as a horror comedy, which is exactly what it is. Sure, there were spooks and creepy stuff to be had here, but nothing in the likes of being too much for it to still be a family spook fest. And the combination of horror elements and comedy worked out quite nicely.

The special effects and practical effects in the anthology was quite good. The effects were believable and really served their purposes quite well. This was good, because effects are quite important to anything related to the horror genre.

Of course, some segments were better than others, but in overall, then this was a very enjoyable anthology. And it definitely turned out to be a rather great surprise. I sat down to watch it with my family, and everyone had a good time. So "Tales of Halloween" is a well-worthy addition to any movie marathon that you might host during Halloween.

If you haven't already seen "Tales of Halloween", then I can highly recommend that you take the time to do so, because this really was quite a blast.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Interesting enough concept..., 29 August 2017
5/10

I had not even heard of "Black Mirror" before I was recommended to watch it at the local place where I usually make most of my movie purchases, given the usual stuff that I purchase there. So I went home and started season 1 as it was available on Netflix.

I managed to endure almost 3 episodes of the first season before I gave up. I will say that it was refreshing for a series to have each and every episode to be independent of one another, that each was a self-contained and complete story in itself. So you could essentially sit down to watch them in any random order. I managed to get almost through the third episode of season 1 before I gave up.

It turned out, that despite each episode being very well produced and also having some interesting concept behind it, that the premise of the series was just not appealing to me. Why? Well, because I am not really all that interested in technology.

The acting in the three episodes that I watched was good, and it was nice enough to see story lines poke fun at things that are wrong with society today, such as how desperate for fame people are that they are willing to participate in "talent" shows, or the fact that most of our lives are spent online in one way or another, etc.

I guess that "Black Mirror" would have a wide appeal, and at first glance it seems like it is something that might slip under the radar of most people. I, for example, hadn't even heard about it prior to being recommended to watch it.

Sometimes monkeying around is a necessity..., 29 August 2017
5/10

When I sat down to watch "Funky Monkey" with the family, I must admit that I didn't have any particular expectations to the movie, given the synopsis. But it turned out that "Funky Monkey" was actually a rather funny and entertaining movie for being a family movie and all.

The story is about a top secret program to develop super soldiers from monkeys. Yeah, I know. But when the main chimpanzee escapes captivity with help from his trainer, things change dramatically as both trainer and chimpanzee have to find places in life outside the research facility.

There is an abundance of hilarious scenes throughout the movie, which had the entire family laughing loudly many times. So the enjoyment factor of "Funky Monkey" is rather big if you sit down as as family to watch the movie.

Now, the chimpanzee did perform quite well in its scenes, but there were some fighting scenes where it was just gut-awful obvious that it was a man in a chimpanzee costume trying to pass for a monkey.

There are a couple of familiar faces on the cast list, which includes Matthew Modine, Taylor Negron, Gilbert Gottfried, Fred Ward and Jeffrey Tambor. The hired cast were performing well with their given roles and characters, taking the storyline into consideration.

All in all, then "Funky Monkey" is an enjoyable movie for the entire family.


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