Reviews written by registered user
dan_of_the_year

7 reviews in total 
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Perfect for fans of gore and explosions who aren't that picky., 18 January 2008
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Neither of the the Alien vs. Predator movies do much to live up to the legacy of the franchises that cross over. But if you keep that in mind as you see these movies and have some very low expectations, there is a chance you might enjoy this.

What made Alien and Predator so great was the suspense. The creatures were never clearly exposed at once, but they were creeping up on their victims who barely suspected anything until it was too late. Here we start where the first movie left off, with the Predalien being born. The closest thing to suspense we ever get is when the doctor at the hospital sees the ECG monitors flatline, which was quite impressive, but very brief. The scariest thing that ever happened was the pizza delivery guy getting jumped from behind by a bully.

The characters are poorly done and forgettable. You never get to know them like the crew of Nostromo, the Special Force or the L.A. cops. People that easily could earn sympathies, making you go "Nooo!!" when they are done for. Here we have dozens of people who are as nameless as they are pointless, two brothers who have had some trouble with the law and a female soldier who seems to have returned from some place such as Afghanistan. But she might just have shot some paintball during the weekend, that's how little information we get. To put it simply, too much people with too little exposition.

But if you get into this simply to see two different breeds of monsters fight and cause a great mess, this might be the right flick for you. Humans are taken down like bowling pins and there is barely anything to hold them back. Those who appreciate horror and aren't too sensitive might appreciate the dark tone set by the number and age of the creatures' victims. Being old enough to drink is not required to be one of them, that's for sure. Also the blackouts combined with the rain makes a nice mood for what happens at the hospital, if only a little tacked on.

The biggest of the few high points is the open ending, suggesting a connection between the realities of the past of Predator and the future of Alien. I imagine that if there will ever be another sequel this would be further explored and probably make a far better movie. But is it a redeeming quality for Alien Versus Predator - Requiem? Hardly.

Decent braindead action, but there are much better things to see, whether you're easily entertained or are more demanding.

Bandidas (2006)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Good entertainment, but that's pretty much it, 1 December 2007
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The age of the western movie has past long ago. A few movies have been good exceptions since then, but sadly this isn't one of them. Sure, it has its good moments and there's not much to complain about with the acting. Fact remains that this isn't anything groundbreaking.

The way I see it, there are lots of missed opportunities here. The friction between Salma and Penelope's characters isn't as much between a rich girl and a peasant's daughter as it is simply between two women. It's mostly in their first meeting that their argument is based on class difference and after that it's more of a catfight between two girls who want the same thing, whether it is to rob the same bank or make out with the same man. Also their training and careers as bank robbers feels a little too brief when it could be much more develop. It wouldn't have to be the length of a Kevin Costner to accomplish that, it's more of an issue with the writing.

Steve Zahn's character is very fitting as a bumbling big city detective, unknowingly helping the villains hunt after the girls. Too bad that doesn't carry on for too long, as he then becomes their accomplice/boy-toy. I would've preferred a Fugitive-like chase for a little longer before he had realized he had been on the wrong side.

The bad guy, Jackson, is a very good villain. He's both sardonic and ruthless, making him somebody you love to hate. That doesn't change the fact that he feels a little bit cookie-cutter. But hey, he's a western villain and western is one of the oldest genres in movies. Speaking of which, at first the slow-motion gun fight in the end ruined the experience for me a little bit until I realized that it's supposed to be a fierce fight scene that takes place within a few seconds. That's a good place to use modern technology if any.

Everybody does a decent work in this film. Señoritas Hayek and Cruz are a treat for the eye in more ways than one. To see a pair of women as the heroes in a movie like this rather than being tied up at a railway track, yelling for help is quite refreshing. Nevertheless, this could've been a lot better. Sad, but true.

Epic Movie (2007)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Proves that quality is better than quantity, 26 November 2007
2/10

Usually, I love parody movies. I grew up with the works of Mel Brooks, such as Spaceballs and Blazing Saddles, but also ZAZ's Airplane! and The Naked Gun. In my opinion these are wonderful, hilarious films that despite being silly, are also quite enjoyable.

Sadly, the parody genre has degraded a lot over the last few years. I thought Scary Movie 1 & 2 were okay as well as Not Another Teen Movie, but this is nothing but a low-water mark in comedy. It's like they went into this project, thinking: "Whatever, it's not like we're making a real movie, it's just a parody." Well, a funhouse needs a good structure as much as any other building, or else it will fall apart.

First off, the story, if you can even call it that, makes no sense. Don't get me wrong, inconsistencies and such makes other parodies great, but they also have some kind of plot, whether it's taken directly from a different movie or something original. What we have here is just a bunch of scenes put together where the humor depends too much on the likeness of the films they spoof.

Second, the tempo is awfully frustrating. A good joke needs timing, whether it's quick or slow. In Epic Movie, the jokes are stretched out like saltwater taffy, as if the directors are thinking: "Sooner or later they'll laugh at it".

Third, there are too many different movies from too many different genres in the mix. A spoof on Narnia should mainly be crossed with LoTR and Harry Potter, Superman Returns with X-Men The Last Stand, et cetera, but to go this far is just annoying.

Fourth, so many good talents are wasted here. Seeing Jayma Mays acting like an overgrown, lisping 8-year-old just breaks my heart. She seems very sweet and I think she can do better than this. Same goes for Jennifer Coolidge. She can be really funny, but the only thing she did that I laughed at was this line: "The kids have es-kay-puh-duh." The fact that she never screams bugged me too. She's the bad guy, for crying out loud! A good villain should be able to be somewhat loud and menacing, even if it's just a parody. Heck, even Dark Helmet did that better than her.

Thank goodness for people like Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, known for their work on Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. These guys know how to make good parodies/homages and they show us there's still hope. I know everybody has different tastes and opinions when it comes to movies, but people ought to be smart enough to figure out what they really want to get for their money. If Hollywood starts to notice garbage like this doesn't do well at the box office, there might be some improvement. Hopefully.

Superfire (2002) (TV)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Quite mediocre, yet surprisingly better than expected, 11 January 2007
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This two-part mini-series doesn't really have that many good things speaking for it. First of all, it is made for TV, which too often promises a low quality. Second, it is after all a disaster movie, a genre that has been tired for a long time. Just look at Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow and so on. Yet, in the midst of all the unoriginal characters and lame drama, it actually does have its few good moments.

It all starts with a fire pilot, Jim Merreck, who defies orders and tries to put out a forest fire his own way, resulting in the deaths of 12 smoke jumpers (firefighters operating from the ground). After a 10 month vacation (okay, he got sacked), he has taken his time to study fires, super fires more specifically. His old partner shows up, saying he's wanted back on the job and Jim reluctantly agrees to do so. Although, his little sidestep is all but forgotten by smoke jumpers as well as people at the base, including his old boss. Then, when a couple of fires break out and Jimbo starts talking about the super fires, which don't have much of a recorded history, he's not making it easier for himself. You could think he was begging to get his behind kicked out once more, and truthfully it's not hard to understand why as he seems a little obsessed. However, it later on turns out he's right and a super fire is coming, but that doesn't make him look less crazy.

When it comes to the smoke jumpers they are pretty much that bunch of repeated characters they make fun of in Team America: World Police. For example, we have a cigar-smoking cocky guy, a naive rookie that just screams Goose from Top Gun (I'm not saying he ends up like him), and a team leader who takes his job so seriously that he much rather talks about the fire hazard of pine cones than having some beers with his buddies. Although, Wes Studi does quite good, especially as his character's native American roots are touched upon.

This is probably where I should tell you the main reason I went out of bed at 1:30 in the morning two nights in a row just to tune this in: Ellen Muth. I love Ellen Muth, I adore her and take every chance I get to see something she's in, even if it's garbage. Her character Jill isn't as good as George Lass in Dead Like Me, starting out as a dumb teen who violates her curfew to hang out with the cool kids and treats her old childhood friend very mean. But when they all go to the forest and get trapped in the fire, Jill starts to get interesting, thus Ellen's acting engines kick off for real. Instead of putting up with their immature behaviour, she takes command and does her best to get everybody out of this predicament, not afraid to get angry and yell at them whenever they get too whiny.

I must say things get somewhat better in part 2 when the predicted super fire becomes a reality. Especially when we see the smoke jumpers being overcome by the inferno. The scene where they cover themselves in their heat shelters, practically getting cooked is very shaking and this is where my respect for those who do this for a living in real life grows a thousandfold. Not to mention the people in the control room who can't do more than to just sit and hear their desperation and how they cusp for air over the radio. The smoke jumpers are decimated into the team leader and the rookie, ironically the one you'd expect to get toasted. The two of them do share a good moment, where the elderly and practised passes the torch (bad choice of words, I know) onto the young and inexperienced. Another good moment is soon before Jill discovers her mom has gone to the forest to look for her, and her eyes get filled with tears when she worries what might have happened to her. However, this part isn't that perfect either. There truly are moments of ridiculousness (a kid carrying around a goldfish bowl during the evacuation?!) and even though I'm not an expert on this subject, I'm sure they put out the super fire a little too easily. I don't know if there is a vacuum bomb such as the one being used, but surely those in the forest should have suffocated from its effects. Just look up vacuum in a dictionary, you'll know what I mean.

Of course it ends happily, besides a handful of tragic losses and destroyed homes, but the little plant growing out of the ground before the credits roll clearly symbolizes how life carries on. Although, I must say we were cheated on a more elaborate ending, like an epilogue a few months later, showing how Jill and her mom deal with their house being burned to ashes and other things. But I guess I might give them a little too much credit expecting such a thing.

What could easily be written off as a big hunk of rubbish, manages to raise above this standard if only by a nose length. I hardly think I'd rewatch this unless it would be to see Ellen Muth again. I consider myself as generous by not giving this less than a 6 out of 10.

The better one of Schumacher's Batman movies., 23 June 2006
7/10

I recently celebrated my 23'rd birthday, when I got the 2-disc Special Edition of Batman Forever. As it is still fresh in my memory, along with the bonus features, I figured I'd write my review.

The year was 1995 and I was 12 years old. I went to see Batman Forever and I had a blast. Out of all four movies predating Batman Begins, which is my favorite Batman movie ever, this is my favorite. Fine, a lot of people hate Schumacher's Batman movies and often associate them with bad comic book films, but truly BF is far superior to B&R which sadly was a train wreck.

Sure, both of them share a lot of things that made them so hated, such as the nippled rubber costumes and the over-use of neon. Lucky for me, I am a very indulgent person and can overlook this to see the things I did like. I still love the costumes and the production design, warts and all. I have trouble understanding why so many dislike Goldenthal's operatic score, but then I am much of a drama geek myself so I'm probably a bit biased.

Some say Val Kilmer has not much of an acting range but as I see it he plays a very cold and tormented Bruce Wayne, a lot better than George Clooney did. The Robin story is played off very well, but I must say I would've survived without the love story between Bruce and Chase. The villains are great, especially Jim Carrey's Riddler, while it's too bad Two-Face doesn't get to do as much even though Tommy Lee Jones succeeds in playing a homicidal psycho. I've even heard Carrey was intimidated by him on the set and if another actor can make him feel uncomfortable he can't be all that bad. Sure, they're both very over-the-top but remember that these characters have existed in Batman's universe ever since the 40's.

As I watched the DVD features it hit me that all of the filmmakers got inspiration from their own experiences with Batman, e.g. Schumacher who said he grew up with the old campy comic books. Even if you don't have to like the final result you can't say that their personal views of Batman is wrong, since they're fans just like everyone else.

After watching the deleted scenes I wish they would release a director's cut with them included. I especially think of Two-Face escaping Arkham, Bruce's discussion with Dick at the gym and the confrontation with the giant bat in the cave, with some proper editing done to the latter one.

Long story short, Batman Forever isn't perfect but still quite entertaining. Many of the mistakes done in this or rather Batman & Robin still haunt a lot of fans, but the way I see it many lessons were learned from that, which is why we got Batman Begins, a portrayal truly worthy of the Dark Knight.

2 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
One of the most perfect transitions from comic to screen, 25 September 2005
7/10

As opposed to the TV series where Terence Hill did a rather weak and watered out portrayal of Lucky Luke this movie does an extraordinarily tremendous job! Everything you saw in the comics you will experience here; from the personalities of the characters to the colorful sceneries of this stylized Wild West, plus you get a little modern update which only makes it more enjoyable. Even though I haven't seen anything else with Eric & Ramzy I must say they are flawless in playing Joe and Averell Dalton. Joe is the stubborn, bossy hothead he's always been and Averell is an utter moron who constantly aggravates his brother, mostly resulting in a merciless battering. Til Schweiger does pretty good as Lucky Luke, keeping his head cool and always being one step ahead. Too bad he doesn't have that much screen time, but perhaps that is something to expect in a sequel.

On the whole, this is a nice movie and those who watch it ought to have an open mind and not mind American cowboys speaking French or people dressing mainly in primary colors like in an old western movie.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A childish yet hilarious spoof on cop series, 30 May 2005

In 1994 two of the funniest men in Sweden decided to make a parody the police drama genre, such as Starsky and Hutch and the domestic super cop Martin Beck. The result is sixteen quarter-long episodes about Henry and Jan-Olov, who have returned respectively from Moscow and Washington D.C. to Stockholm to deal with the severe inflation of crime. By their side they have Lennart, their drunken commissioner, Gerhard, a dimwitted German and the super hot, butt-kicking she-cop Gisela. The writing is ludicrous, the jokes are silly and the acting is incredibly lame, yet it manages to bring lots of laughs to those with low demands. For those who have a sophomoric sense of humor and presumably understands Swedish, this is definitely something to check out.