Films of 2016

Films of 2016
 Archive Posts

Drop Down Menu

Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Review Spellbinder (1988): One of those films that is best viewed very late at night!

genre: thriller, horror

Spellbinder is kind of an odd beast. It for the most part plays out like one of those average erotic thrillers made in abundance during the Eighties and Nineties. Surprisingly though it does have some genuine horror moments that make this film a worthy addition in the horror genre. 

But before you jump with joy you have to contend or endure some flaws that unfortunately could hurt your viewing experience. For one Spellbinder is quite slow. It takes a little too long for real events to occur and even then it manages to take it's sweet time to get to the point. I was only able to tolerate this since I was watching this very late at night and could not put up much of a fight. Hey that rhymes. Anyway had I watched this in the evening then I am sure I would have struggled and eventually would not have bothered finishing this film. Because no real attempt is made to make the characters more interesting. I know that that they were trying to keep things as mysterious as possible but they could and should have added more red herrings to make the viewer doubt of what exactly is going on. We never get to know that much about main character Jeff Mills played by Tim Daly. All we learn is that he is a lawyer, that he is ready for real relationship and that he is a good man. Ok, in one scene it is also stated that he is a brilliant lawyer. Why not show us this? Could have been fun to see him in action and maybe that would have given us another perspective on matters later in the film. Kelly Preston's character Miranda Reed couldn't be more mysterious but did that automatically make her captivating? No. The only reason she does manage to draw you in is because of her sexual appeal. She really lays it on thick that she is hot. I have to admit there was some pleasant tension between her and Tim Daly although extremely toned down. It felt like this film was first made for television then at the last minute was decided to be released it in the theater. And that in order to spice up things they added a sex scene that was less titillating than a scene before where Miranda heals Jeff's back. Another reason why this film could be disappointing is that the few horror moments don't really go that far enough. It constantly stops at times when it's about to get interesting. But undoubtedly this is more due to a low budget than good will or incompetence. It also felt like that quite important scenes have been cut to save time. (I read a comment on that there are more scenes in the VHS version than the LIMITED DVD one. Not sure if that truly makes a difference but if I get a hold of that VHS version I will let you know.)

Despite these flaws I have to point out that some of these horror moments are genuinely creepy. And they certainly would have been terrifying had they gotten more attention and budget to go all out. The two twists also were nice although I do think that if you are very observant you can predict them. The ending itself is pretty daring although may come across as a little weak these days since it has lost it's shock value considerably. Overall this is one of those films best viewed very late at night since only then will it be able to give that goodness you crave. 

Read more »

Little statement about freedom of speech.

Edit 16-10-2016:

Seems like things have gotten incredibly worse the past few months and that I have to add to my statement. Mark Zuckerberg has big plans for his Facebook. And it is going to affect you hugely and you probably won't be aware it will. He has expressed to become THE one news site of the future. He wants people to get all their news from Facebook. And only Facebook. In case you don't know how to feel about it this I will spell it out for you. That is horrendous and dangerous. Facebook already is censoring whatever they feel like. They are constantly deciding for you what posts or ads you should be reading and watching. And to make matters worse they are shielding you from historic and political facts in the name of keeping the site clean and wholesome. One example is that they had removed an iconic picture representing the horrors of the Vietnam war because of the nudity. Only after heavy protests had they reversed their dubious decision. It is good that people had noticed this and that they have been able to fight this. Despite, this should worry people, since who knows what else might have been removed that are of historic or political significance. But this is what you get when a company like Facebook has so much influence on what you are allowed to see or not. 

Check the following articles:

Google also has introduced a new system called Youtube Heroes. The next step after their plan to demonetize content that could be considered offensive or unsuited for the site. According to many people this was no censorship since you are still able to express yourself even if you won't be able to earn with it. But is this really the case? The original video from Google about Youtube Heroes stated a few things that raised the hairs on my back. I say original video since by now that video has been edited and certain alarming elements have been removed to make this initiative seem less harmless. And overall notion on this is that it's not going to be a big deal. However I don't agree with this consensus at all. I think every attempt to moderate or edit content that is deemed inappropriate is censorship. Because who is going to decide what is inappropriate? These heroes for example will be random people like you and me who might have some grudge or are out to mess with people just because they can. And the tools they are given will be expansive. One of these tools is mass flagging videos. Another is being able to add captions to content from someone else. Or remove negative comments from your channel. Quite a few people don't see the harm in this as they are under the impression human eyes still will have to decide whether the flagged videos are indeed flag worthy. But let's be real here for a moment. With millions and millions videos of being uploaded to Youtube how will they be able to do that properly. The whole reason why Google have implemented this system is so that others could do the moderation for them. Because apparently Google doesn't want to invest people and money into this important job. So why should I believe that suddenly they will have the time and people to judge these videos in the manner they deserve if they aren't even willing to do the job themselves? And for what purpose would you give people points to rat on people. Yes that is what I call it. No matter how you agree or disagree with certain content you still have a choice to opt out if you don't want to watch it. If you don't agree and comments aren't disabled you could still express your opinion on the matter. Or if comments or certain users bother you you could block them. But with Youtube Heroes someone else and Google will decide for you what comments will be allowed or what content will be suited or not. And yes I get the business argument that sometimes certain content could scare away people and therefore affect ads. On the other hand moderating or censoring content will also have that effect since the one thing that has made Youtube so popular is that everyone has a platform to speak their minds about whatever topic they find important. The diversity is what makes Youtube so solid and interesting. Strip that away and people will go somewhere else. How is that good for business? Because you know what, even if people spout one negative comment after another they are still coming to your site and you could technically still get ad revenue from them. That won't happen if you force them to go somewhere else where their freedom of speech is not affected. And let me state again that any attempt whether sometimes understandable still is censorship. It doesn't even matter whether it is legitimate or not. That is for the courts to decide. I rather want to be confronted with truth and reality then be shielded from it. Life is hard. The world can be very nasty. But guess what that is what makes us into the wonderful human beings we are. It's these hardships that build and shape your character. If you shield people from this then they won't be able to learn and move on. They will not get the experiences what's needed to pick themselves up. More important you will create people who are hardly critical and won't have the motivation or will to fight the good fight when it is truly needed. I don't want to live in a world where companies or governments decide how to live and what to think. And I certainly don't want to live in a world where all the people do and think the same. Don't you see that then our lives will be boring and won't mean a thing?

BTW I am not posting the Youtube Heroes video since what would be the point if they keep editing it to remove the exact things people want to respond to. Then you probably wonder why even bother? Because it is the principle of the matter. I want to create awareness that one should stop and think about certain decisions and how often this can affect you and the world. Sometimes even minor decisions are forewarnings to bigger ones that could have devastating effects and one need to be always vigilant about that.  

Original article:
You know I understand very well how it feels to be insulted by people. Whether the people intended to do so or did it by mistake is irrelevant. It can hurt. Now more and more people are saying especially when certain things are said on the internet that you should grow a thicker skin. Well, yes and no. Sometimes despite having a thick skin you can or should take it personal because sometimes people are that cruel or evil. And they may have more on their agenda than just insults. On the other hand when you let it get past by you and you ignore them those remarks will fade and miss their mark. Of course you can cross lines and then you should be able to take appropriate action. 

But and this is a big but. I rather would suffer some insults (especially online) then to be limited in my options to say whatever I want to say without (many) consequences. I should be able to be critical and criticize others for their actions and behaviour.  Because of the internet this has become easier. And many political figures and leaders fear this freedom. So they try to do whatever they can to put a stop to this. We should never ever tolerate censorship of any kind. As long as we don't physically harm someone we should be able to use the more colourful language. Sometimes it's just an indication of how important you think and feel about a certain topic. It can happen that you make statements that may not be rational however they can be true and sincere. In the end isn't that more important. The truth. You can't always sugarcoat things. Our world is a tough place but will be a tougher one if we are made afraid to hide the truth. 

Please give this some thought. And do whatever you can to hold on to the free word. Without it the world will be in deep trouble. 

Read more »

Review Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016): Hilarious feel good film from the guy who is going to direct Thor: Ragnarok.

genre: comedy, adventure, drama

If you feel that 2016 has not offered you enough films that will make you burst out in laughter every two minutes or so then look no further. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the one movie that does this and more.

The tale is about an orphan named Ricky who gets placed with couple Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill). The supposed troublesome Ricky initially doesn't want to be there but gets overwhelmed by the immensely sweet and loving Bella who accepts him fully with all his flaws. It becomes apparent that Ricky is nowhere near as bad as he is pointed out to be by Child Welfare Officer Paula. But then when Ricky starts to feel home disaster strikes and runs away. I won't go into details about the story and how it unfolds since not knowing is what makes most of the events super hilarious. While the film doesn't really spare us with harsh reality it never neglects to make us laugh about it. There are some scenes so unexpectedly violent and bloody that automatically you wonder what direction the film is going. And that was so refreshing because from that moment on the film had my full attention. Of course this being a feel good movie most of what occurs can be predicted still the jokes that are made are genuine and layered enough to give it that something extra. The film moves along in an immensely fast pace and you won't be bored for a single second. The acting is top notch even from director Taika Waititi who appears as a Minister. I am not a Christian but if that guy would be holding sermons like he did in the film I would be in church front row every week to listen to them. Julian Dennison as Ricky is a delight and is extremely likable and honestly never annoying. For a kid actor that is very impressive. I really hope to see more from him. And I am definitely going to check out Waititi's other films especially Thor: Ragnarok. Yes, you read it correctly. Taika Waititi is going to direct a Marvel movie. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. Because that means it is going to rock big time. 

This film is a must watch especially if you want to laugh non stop like good comedies are supposed to do. Seriously what are you waiting for go watch this already!

Read more »

Review The Boogey Man (1980):

genre: horror

By accident I found this version when looking for Boogeyman (2005). The fact that this was an Eighties horror that I had not seen before was an instant reason for me to watch it right after I discovered it.

The film is an acquired taste for sure but it is far better than given credit for. However it does take some doing to get into the story that seems to be more of a psychological thriller than horror at first. But then after we get introduced to some supernatural elements that made things real interesting. Only you never quite sure what is going on exactly. Since things are shown in a way that could be interpreted in multiple ways. And in this case that vague and abstract approach is what makes The Boogey Man very effective. Normally I have a low tolerance for this kind of thing. But the approach in combination with the story is what makes this film quite fun. This is one of those movies where telling the plot would spoil and reveal too much so I won' go into it. Although I do implore that you will keep an open mind since the film does require it a little.

I do have to inform you that this film has no connection to The 2005 Boogeyman whatsoever. Nor is this based on the short story written by Stephen King. (I know that there is an adaptation of that story has been made in 1982 which I have been trying to get my hands on but has proven to be a rare film to find.) Still if I had to make a comparison I can say without a doubt that The Boogey Man is the better movie of the two. It has more of a story and there are genuine thrills and scares. Boogeyman 2005 has very little to no thrills I find appealing in a horror film. The Boogey Man also shows that practical special effects can beat CGI any day. The main draw for me was the atmosphere. It simply clicked with me. I honestly had zero expectations but was pleasantly surprised that this film had managed to draw me in. Like I said if you keep an open mind you are in for some real nice surprises. The only letdown in this movie is the horrible acting from some characters. Only it's not of a level that it will stand in the way of enjoying the film. So do give this one a shot especially if you are tired of contemporary horror.

Read more »

Review The Fisher King (1991): Amazing and beautiful. A true classic and one of my favourite movies of all time!

genre: comedy, drama, fantasy, romance

It's been a while I had watched it but prior to today I must have seen this films six or seven times or maybe more and have never been bored by it for a single second. If that is not a testament of how good this film is then I don't know what is.

Without a doubt this film delivers on the things that strike you deep in the heart but at the same time confronts you with certain truths that you might not be prepared to face.This movie will make you laugh more than cry but make no mistake you will cry for sure. And not because of the heart strings that are being pulled. Of course I am not going to deny that this film has moments where that happens. However I am referring to the beauty that lies deep within this movie that is filled with themes everyone will be able to relate to. These themes are presented to us by the wonderful characters played by Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl and Amanda Plummer. They are the ones who truly pull you into the story and make you want to root for them all the way even if some of them are a little strange and quirky. Naturally one should compliment Terry Gilliam for envisioning the amazing story written by Richard LaGravenese. He masterfully blends many different genres together that definitely will evoke many different emotions from you. However he never neglects to make you laugh right after the harshest and most violent scenes. He is not out to shock you but seems to be more about putting things in perspective by giving us an answer to the question that undoubtedly many have asked themselves. What really matters in life?

I can't emphasize enough how beautiful this film is. If you never have seen this classic than please don't waste a second and go watch it at once. It's a movie that will conquer a place in your heart for sure. 

Also read:

Read more »

Review Bad Neighbours 2 a.k.a. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016): One of those comedies you just have to accept how stupid it is to enjoy!

genre: comedy

If you can get past an incredible gross opening scene and a continuation of very juvenile humour then perhaps you will be able to enjoy it.  Let's put it this way. It's an improvement on the original since there were actually moments that made me laugh. (But seriously whatever you do don't eat during this movie especially at that scene.)

However the whole premise and everything attached to it is incredibly stupid. I mean let's be real here. No adult and sane family would be living next to a bunch of college teens in the first place. Let alone they would remain living there. But it seems they finally wised up and are about to sell their house. Then trouble starts because of a whole escrow agreement their sale could get in jeopardy the minute the new sorority next to them cause mayhem and chaos. And that is pretty much a given. Luckily all this nonsense is made digestible because of the dynamics between Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron. Only Chloe Moretz is completely out of her depth and is nowhere near as adorable and cute as she once was. Is that something she can be blamed for? Well, yes, because it's her whole attitude and approach to her role that makes her character very unlikable. Zac Efron who played the designated baddie in the original did a much better job of being obnoxious and charming at the same time. Chloe remains annoying throughout. I simply fail to see why they keep putting her in roles she can barely handle. And it didn't look like she put much effort in to make something of her role.

Speaking of Zac Efron. He does a follow up to many of the roles he has been playing of late and he seems to be much more in his element than in for example Dirty Grandpa. However I do hope that this is not something he will get stuck in since it would be nice for him to take on something serious. If for some reason you were hoping this would be more like Old School, Van Wilder or Bachelor Party then I will have to disappoint you. That level of comedy never gets reached. So if you keep your expectations low and think you can handle some gross and dirty jokes then overall this film will be doable.

Also read:

Read more »

Review Mechanic: Resurrection (2016): Looks like a low budget James Bond flick without the charm and style.

genre: action, crime, thriller

The Mechanic was a remake to an old Charles Bronson movie nobody wanted. As much as I like Jason Statham he can't be compared to Bronson. But while I can't really remember much about the remake itself I do know I found it to be enjoyable (although in hindsight this could be credited to Ben Foster) and had hoped the sequel would at least offer me a similar experience.

And sadly I have to report it didn't. Sure there are a few cool moments where you can't help but be impressed by Jason Statham who clearly is doing a lot of the stunts himself. Other than that it is your typical Statham film without that fun factor. Not that it is super bad or anything. I just could not enjoy myself enough. Most of the action is what you expect and predictable as hell which gets tedious very quick. The very minimal story is an incredible mess and only serves as an excuse to let Statham do his thing. Problem is that every actor in this film take everything far too seriously. Except may be Tommy Lee Jones. But let's be honest here. He has stopped being serious long time ago and just is in it for the money. Now nothing would have been wrong with that had the film offered real tense and thrilling scenes. Or other moments that would have put you on the edge of your seat. I kinda embraced the James Bond feel to the film where Bishop (Statham) flies around the world completing the missions (assassinations) he is forced to do. I would have loved to have seen a more tongue in cheek Statham dealing with the bad guys in tuxedo and witty one liners. Yet for some reason leaves out his usual wit and loses a lot of charm because of it. I also was hoping that Bishop would have been more bloodthirsty. But most of the time he is acting like it's a normal work day. Like he did not care as much about what was happening to him or his girlfriend played by Jessica Alba.

I really don't want to wast too many words on this film since the film is not worth that kind of attention. It's an empty and soulless action flick that makes earlier Statham films look like masterpieces. Immensely forgettable film.

Also read:

Read more »

Review Star Trek Beyond (2016): Way to go Abrams. Just when I thought you couldn't do worse.

genre: science fiction, action, adventure

You don't fool me. You might have put Justin Lin at the helm it is so obvious you were pulling the strings. Because everything in this film has your hand print on it. Star Trek Beyond even starts with a freaking lens flare.

At this point I had made peace with the new Star Trek and just wanted to enjoy myself. Bring on the spectacle and eye candy. Give me the super slick action and your edge of your seat thrills. All I wanted was to have fun. But no, that would actually require some effort and you could not be bothered huh Abrams? So yes let me be one of those guys complaining that this is not my Star Trek. I have been a fan of the original franchise for a long time. I actually embraced the reboot until Star Trek Into Darkness. Although that did not stop me from enjoying for what they were. Fun popcorn movies but so far removed from what Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek should be about that it simply is not funny anymore. But would you believe it that Beyond even fails as a fun popcorn flick? All the spectacle and eye candy was unimaginative, uninspired and ultimately boring. Yes, you heard me say it. Star Trek Beyond is boring. It had me going for the first ten minutes and then I lost interest completely. There is nothing in this adventure that drew me into these events. I could overlook the minimal story and lack of genuine twist and turns. Although the big one at the end was decent enough if it weren't for the fact that I already had stopped caring about this film entirely. All the characters in this film could have died and I would not have given a damn. Maybe except for Bones. Karl Urban can do no wrong with me. Even if he tried to. But all the other characters got on my nerve. Anton Yelchin's Chekov was a parody of the original. Worse of all though he is not in the film as much as I would have liked to. There isn't a single scene that serves has a proper send off and farewell to the magnificent actor he was. And that pisses me off to be frank. Actually a lot of characters including Chris Pine as Kirk lack the charm and wit from previous films. Spock was more human than Vulcan. Let me remind you people that it was his Vulcan half that made him an interesting character. It was like no one in this production cared about this film at all. Then why should I? Why should I give in and accept this mess of a film?

And trust me I tried shutting of my brain and simply enjoy it but I couldn't. Because nothing about this adventure is memorable or exciting. Most important reason is that the spectacle is predictable as hell. Even the Beastie Boys scene you could have seen coming miles ahead. Now I must admit that that scene did put a smile on my face. But one brief moment of joy like that is not enough. Not by a long shot. In order to remain fair I have judged this film solely on what it did offer and not of what it could or should have been. Still I do have to point out that this latest part in the reboot franchise is proof that this is not Star Trek. The older films and TV Shows next to spectacle always offered good drama and thought provoking concepts about many essential things that matter in life. Star Trek made science and philosophy accessible and fun for people who otherwise might not have been interested. Star Trek Beyond however dismisses all of this and treats it's audience like they are idiots. The people behind this new franchise assume current audience only want action and spectacle and nothing more. And maybe this is true which makes me sad. Very sad. I like to be challenged. I like to be provoked about political and social issues when done right. However like I first stated that I was willing and able to overlook the lack of this in favour of fun. But that's just it. Beyond rarely is fun. The very few moments that were could not make me forget the agony I experienced while watching this film. I stared at the screen in such detached manner that I think I would have gotten more enjoyment watching noise.

I for one am hoping that they are done with this and that they will go back to what Star Trek should be about. But if they don't the fans will. So many wonderful fan made Star Trek projects out there that are made with love and passion that surpass these crappy movies in every way. Simon Pegg claims to be a huge Star Trek fan. Then it is so puzzling to me that he could have written this script. Almost everything about it is a downright insult to the real fans and legacy of Gene Roddenberry. I never realized this until now but Simon Pegg is kind of a douche. Overall don't bother people. Star Trek Beyond is a giant waste of your time. 

Also read:

Read more »




Join us for free and get valuable content delivered right through your inbox.


Reviews Netflix Originals


Google+ Followers