Author Topic: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar  (Read 111446 times)

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #315 on: April 19, 2014, 10:42:45 AM »
Yes, Kurt Russell is good. Definitely much better than Seagal. I liked him a lot in Big Trouble. Captain Ron, however, went totally beneath my radar. I have now added it to my wish list. While he's usually good, his films tend to be hit or miss. Escape from New York was great, Escape from L.A. not so great, for example. I just watched him in Tango & Cash. Not great cinema, perhaps, but good fun, and Russell was good as usual.


Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #316 on: April 20, 2014, 02:26:38 PM »
TitleEscape Plan (5-030305-517151)
DirectorMikael Håfström
ActorsSylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan
Produced2013 in United States
Runtime116 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Commentary Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
SubtitlesEnglish
OverviewRay Breslin [Sylvester Stallone], the world's foremost authority on structural security, agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called "The Tomb". But when he is wrongly imprisoned, he must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer [Arnold Schwarzenegger] to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape from the most protected and fortified prison ever built.
My thoughtsIt's fun to see a Swedish director getting ahead in Hollywood. The only other that comes to mind right now is Lasse Hallström. And while Lasse seems to have peaked, Michael is still rising. Good for him.

Escape Plan may not be a great piece of art, but it's a quite serviceable action movie. And it's great fun to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger together. They may be getting on in years, but they can still cause some major havoc. They're actually about my age, but they look a whole lot better. That's not saying much though, if truth be told. :-/

This is another of those movies where it's best not to try to analyze it to much, or you're going to get a lot of “Why” and “How” whirring around in your head. Just go with the flow and then it's a fairly impressive action movie where you probably will get a couple of “I didn't see that coming” moments.
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #317 on: April 20, 2014, 06:25:45 PM »
You are right about Escape Plan .. though i don't think i would have said "... serviceable action ..."  :)
This is another "guilty pleasure film" where just wanting to be entertained is all that is needed.  Fun gags and action.  Great that old guys can take a beating :)
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #318 on: April 20, 2014, 08:49:45 PM »
i don't think i would have said "... serviceable action ..."  :)
Well I wrote "serviceable action movie", meaning that "serviceable" refers to the movie, not to the action. One of the definitions of "serviceable" in Merriam-Webster is "of adequate quality", and I think that fits; an action movie of adequate quality.

And as for guilty pleasure, I don't think you need to feel guilty about finding this movie a pleasure...?

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #319 on: April 22, 2014, 03:52:46 AM »
I saw Escape Plan in the theater.  I enjoyed it.  I ended up liking it more than I thought I would originally.  I thought Arnold was pretty good..better than he's been in other movies.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #320 on: April 24, 2014, 01:31:09 PM »
TitleAssassins (Disc ID: 3A65-7065-A4AB-C7DF)
DirectorRichard Donner
ActorsSylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Julianne Moore, Anatoli Davydov, Muse Watson
Produced1995 in United States
Runtime133 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital Dolby Surround, Portuguese Dolby Digital Mono
SubtitlesDanish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
OverviewRobert Roth (Sylvester Stallone) is the best hitman around, but the code and sense of duty once part of his deadly career are lost in a post-Cold War world of freelance guns. He wants out. Not so Miguel Bain (Antonio Banderas), a driven killer who knows how to claim the top spot of his shadowy profession: eliminate Roth. Julianne Moore turns up the heat as a wily hacker swept into the duo's running battle. Co-written by the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix) and Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) and directed by Richard Donner (the Lethal Weapon series), this awesome action tale plunges you into a world where what counts isn't making the first move, but surviving the last.
My thoughtsSometimes you forget almost everything about a movie except a key scene. I had such a vivid memory of a key scene in Assassins that I was convinced that I has seen it. But no. When I just watched it on BD I realized that I had never seen it before, after all. I must just have seen the trailer. So I'm glad I got it in the Stallone box set.

This may not be the best film that Richard Donner ever has directed, but it's a good enough action movie. Banderas is really good in it. Julianne Moore has done better roles, but I like her anyway. And Stallone is Stallone.

Like most action movies, this one requires a little bit of suspension of disbelief, but not too much. There aren't any real roll-your-eyes moments. Well, at least not unless you stop to question how you get $16,000,000 in bills into a hand held bag. And I didn't, until afterwards. That's 160,000 $100 bills. Or if it's easier to visualize then in bundles of 100 bills each, that's 1,600 bundles.

But that's part of the Hollywood myth, right? Ridiculous amounts of money take hardly any space at all. It's right up there with cars exploding like a bomb if they're driven over a cliff, or bodies flying backwards when shot by a shotgun (or even a pistol). So we let it go, even though we know it's hokum.

So to sum it up, this is a better than average, but not really great, action film. A little bit too long for my taste, but at least it never gets boring.
My rating

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #321 on: April 24, 2014, 11:30:56 PM »
TitleAlphaville (5-060034-578826)
DirectorJean-Luc Godard
ActorsEddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Howard Vernon, Laszló Szábó
Produced1965 in France
Runtime95 minutes
AudioFrench Dolby Digital Mono
SubtitlesEnglish
OverviewWritten and directed by Godard, Alphaville is the strangely beautiful futuristic tale of Lemmy caution, an American private eye sent to a planet ruled by Von Braun, a malevolent scientist who has outlawed human emotions in favour of logic. The film deals with the fight between individualism in the face of inhumanity and blind conformity, and won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1965.
My thoughtsI didn't appreciate Godard when I was young back in the sixties. I have been avoiding Alphaville for almost 50 years. I thought that perhaps I had matured enough to appreciate it. I was wrong.

To me, watching Alphaville is like watching an surrealistic painting. I may understand the general meaning of the work, but I don't understand the details, and the whole just doesn't resonate with me.

Maybe I'm just too stuck in logic. Maybe the details overshadow the whole. I don't know. Alphaville is, as far as I can understand, supposed to take place in the near future. From 1965, when it was made. And yet pretty much everything in it just screams 1960's; the technology, the cars, the designs, everything. Possibly there is a point to that which escapes me.

It would be utterly foolish of me to say that Alphaville is a bad movie. Its reputation speaks for itself. I just have to say that it's not a movie that appealed to me at all.
My rating
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 05:09:05 AM by GSyren »

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #322 on: April 26, 2014, 11:36:09 AM »
TitleThe Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (5-022366-205047)
DirectorDave Borthwick
ActorsNick Upton, Deborah Collar, Frank Passingham, John Schofield, Mike Gifford
Produced1993 in United Kingdom
Runtime58 minutes
AudioEnglish Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo, English Dolby Digital 5.1
SubtitlesNone
OverviewA dark, twisted, yet enchanting version of the classic fairy tale.  Set in a world of dark and shadowy tenements, shining high-tech labs and spectic landscapes of garbage and ruins, The Secret Adventures Of Tom Thumb makes a touching hero of the tiny child mysteriously born to a woman and a man in experiments in a lab full if mutant creatures. He narrowly escapes into a world where he finds companionship with people his own size and starts to fights back against the 'giants' alongside Jack the Giant Killer.

Nothing is likely to prepare you  for your entry into the astonishing, timeless world created by the award-winning bolexbrothers' director Dave Borthwick, where the strange humans are animated, latex figures breathe as if alive and objects and odd creatures crinkle and crunch in the corner.  It's a world of genuine horror and moving movements that has the power to unsettle and enchant in equal measure – a potent reminder that fairy tales were never meant to be nursery soothers.
My thoughtsThis was a real treat for an animation fan like me. Not quite sure how much a “normal” person would appreciate it. This is an hour long stop motion animation film. Quite grim, not your usual Tom Thumb story. Not suitable for young kids, that's for sure.

What's especially extraordinary about the animation here is that they also use live actors, but animate them just like the puppets. This makes for some remarkable interaction between puppets and humans. This must have been an extremely trying task for the live actors. Not a job for the impatient!

It's a weird, and sometimes confusing story, but I found it extremely entertaining. It certainly makes me curious about what else The Bolex Brothers have accomplished.
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #323 on: April 28, 2014, 03:19:57 AM »
Well luckily I am not a normal person :) YEAH!! Thank you Thank you Thank you.  I got a copy from a friend after reading your review and I have just order a copy for myself.  I LOVE IT.  It is dark and twisted and certainly not the Tom Thumb by George Pal, of my earlier days ( Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers are brilliant in it) .. but it is fantastic in much the same way that Nightmare Before Christmas was (which came out the same year).

I love not only the clay animation but all the stop motion is simply brilliant and brings a real surreal quality to the film (not that it needs much more of that :) )

This was simply marvelous and thank you again.  I can't wait to turn friends on to this.

By the way ... is John Upton the one who plays the father of Tom?  Where have I seen him before do you think?


« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 04:12:08 AM by DSig »
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #324 on: April 28, 2014, 09:43:52 AM »
Good to know you liked it, David! It's always fun when you find some obscure movie and can share the experience.
And that's Nick Upton playing Tom's father. He did seem familiar to me, but his only other acting credit according to IMDb is as "The Hand of God" in Peter Lord's short "Adam". I haven't seen it, but it seems unlikely that the hand of God would show his face...

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #325 on: April 28, 2014, 04:33:19 PM »
 :)
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #326 on: April 29, 2014, 10:31:10 PM »
TitleTaken 2 (5-706110-579478)
DirectorOlivier Megaton
ActorsLiam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Jon Gries
Produced2012 in France
Runtime97 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
SubtitlesDanish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
OverviewBrace yourself for the Extended Edition of Taken 2, with even more explosive action and thrilling suspense — plus in-depth extras that take you deep behind the front lines of a one-man war. Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative who finds himself "taken" hostage along with his wife. To survive, Bryan must enlist the help of an unlikely ally and use his brutally efficient skills to take out his kidnappers.
My thoughtsAfter all the bad reviews I read, I wasn't sure I wanted to see Taken 2 at all. But since I really like Liam Neeson, and I found the BD cheap, I thought I'd give it a go anyway. And I guess it was a good thing that I came at it with such low expectations. I actually had a fun time watching it. Yes, it's illogical and far-fetched as hell, and the fast editing in the fight scenes is irritating. Almost as bad as Quantum of Solace, but not quite.

I saw the unrated cut. I don't know if that was significantly better than the theatrical cut. Probably not. Will I watch Taken 3 when that is released? I probably will – eventually.
My rating

Offline Achim

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #327 on: April 30, 2014, 01:38:40 PM »
Is Taken 3 being made...? The promise was already stretched very thin with part 2.

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #328 on: April 30, 2014, 03:31:12 PM »
According to IMDb the status is "Filming".

So it is being made, the question is: Will it make it to the cinemas or will it be a "Direct to Video"?

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #329 on: April 30, 2014, 05:42:52 PM »
The premis is not the same .. supposidly Bryan (liam) gets accused of a murder he didn't commit ...

Don't think i have ever heard of that story line before  ;)
Thank you
David