The Great Wall (Review)

Director; Yimou Zhang
1h 43 minutes
Swedish premiere; February 17th

A visual blessing for sore eyes from beginning to end. With its stunning picture and strong performance, you might forget about its rather weak plot and story.  The effects were beautifully impressive, each picture looked like something taken out of a book of tales, and my eyes were chanting by the gorgeous vision of every scene at every moment.

William (Damon) and Tovar (Pascal) plays two European mercenaries searching for black powder, but instead end up at the Great Wall of China, helping to defend against some grotesque creatures.

If you want a cinematic experience with monsters, great acting, and a wonderful sight, then I suggest you watch The Great Wall. 6/10

Bluray Extras/Bonus Features;
Deleted and extended scenes.
Matt Damon in China.
Working with Director Zhang Yimou.
Visual effects.
Man vs Monsters.
Weapons of war.
Designing a spectacular world.

Felt it brought a lot of sweet goods as bonus material, enough to keep you interested in the production, but not too much that it became dull and unwatchable.
The vision was just as lovely as I remembered, however, of course watching it in the living room didn’t bring that fantastic cinematic experience that watching it on a larger screen on IMAX – 3D did, but still insanely entertaining.
I did enjoy the sound much better now the second time by being in the comfort of my own home, at the theaters it was so loud that my seat and butt kept on vibrating, making me ill and also providing a nasty headache.

Massive thanks to Sony Home Entertainment Nordic, especially to the generous soul that is Jesper Nordgren for providing with these copies for me to review.

Hush (Review)

Director; Mike Flanagan
1h 21 minutes
From 2016

Mike Flanigan delivers once again another brilliant nail-biter that will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Its thrillingly beautiful script with a fantastic twist is both highly entertaining and well done. First, he gave us Before I wake, and now, Hush.

Hush, though it may come off as any other home alone thriller, but due to the female lead being deaf it brings a whole other level of suspense and originality, making it ten times more horrific, providing with some intense moments that will crawl up your spine – leaving you completely paranoid, terrified, and in awe of its work and great premise.

Maddie, a deaf writer who lives by herself in a cabin in the woods finds herself trapped in a panicked terror game of mouse and cat, as one intruder tries to make her life a living hell.

Kate Siegal was pure delight and perfection portraying a deaf character, showing every emotion through her eyes and face gestures. Every movement and act were beautiful, believable, and simply one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Strongly recommended if you want a smart thriller with massive suspense and great acting, I literally had a knot inside my stomach throughout most parts.

12 Feet Deep (Review)

Director; Matt Eskandari
From; June 2017

Inspired by true events, this film, though looking low budget has its thrilling moments, frustrations, and decent acting. It’s simple yet entertaining and definitely not a waste.
The premise isn’t awful and has you rather intrigued throughout the script. Some moments more intense than others, but in overall a good thriller to kill time with.

Two sisters who do not have the greatest relationship gets trapped under the fiberglass cover of an Olympic-sized public pool during closing hours.

Leading toward the plot, you learn bits and pieces about the characters, not a whole lot but enough to understand the story and relationship.
There are some frustrating moments, especially by one character, a woman who is some sort of ”janitor/cleaner”.
Besides being a jailbird and completely derailed, she made me several times want to get into the screen and strangle her to death.
She was the frustrating ingredient during the entire film, and as much as I would’ve skipped her – if the story is based on true events, I guess she must have been a crucial part to make the movie adaption.

I don’t know if I’d personally recommend it, I made it toward the end, so it did keep me quite entertained.
If you want something mellow, slow paced, with some intense thrill every now and then, don’t mind massive gaps and logic, then go for it. 4.9/10

Måste Gitt (Review)

Director; Ivica Zubak
1h 37 minutes
From 2017 – Out on Blueray.

Let us first begin this review with this, anyone who knows me very well is well aware that the last thing I’d probably ever watch, is a Swedish movie.
For years have I not been grasped by one, thrilled, or slightly moved, nor even entertained, to say the least.
I never found myself remotely fascinated by the production, vision, script, nothing ever caught my interest except for one, many years ago, Vingar Av Glas (Wings of glass) with Alexander Skarsgård.
It was the first time that I actually found myself enjoying a Swedish film, after that, it was simply American motion pictures that were my cup of tea.
My favorites include classics such as A ClockWork Orange by Stanley Kubrick (the man’s a genius), Goodfellas, Jane Eyre, Casablanca, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, and with time newer titles were created, and new ones made the list.

I never gave Swedish titles a chance, I stayed away from them… until now.
Thanks to Måste Gitt, I now have a new found admiration for not only Swedish films, but also Swedish production. I was surprised, and I’m not saying that in a negative way, I was pleased that besides enjoying the story and plot, I legitimately laughed, hard, several times throughout the movie.

Måste Gitt, vision wise was fantastic, the camera shots and flow from one scene to another was beautifully done, even better than Alpha Dog from 2006 by Nick Cassavetes, and ten times better than Fifty Shades of Grey and that says a lot due to 50 Shades having probably a much larger budget and being a Universal Studio production, yet they managed to slaughter the entire movie adaption.
Here, they worked brilliantly with what they had and made it so well, very Straight Outta Compton vibes meets 8 Mile (2002) with a touch of Menace II Society (1993) due to the drama and how life on the street goes down.
The script was intriguing and thrilling with a lot of depth, soul, and faith mixed with great humour, lightness, and wonderful acting by everyone involved. I’m not one to gush over Swedish titles, so this says a whole lot about this movie.

Metin, played by Can Demirtas is a suburb guy living in Stockholm. Though playing with fire due to his lifestyle on the street, he still aspires to be an actor and during his audition for theater school, he accidentally without knowing drops his journal in which one of the teachers/judges finds and sends it to a publisher.
Little do they know, that everything written in that diary is real life stories that he’s been part of and been through.
Can he publish it? A journal filled with crime, drama, and people from the underworld? It’s a struggle that will eat Metin from the inside out.

A gigantic bow to the entire cast and crew for this phenomenal film they delivered. 8.8/10

+ Can Demirtas is on a great path to become Sweden’s Ben Foster.
– Due to not giving away any spoilers, however, I didn’t enjoy the ending. I felt as they should’ve wrapped it up five minutes earlier before they actually did. They left it kind of open, maybe for a sequel, which I strongly hope they don’t.
The movie was so good but sequels barely, ever are.
Look at Taken, the first one was fantastic and the second and third was a mess. Step Up, the first one was great, and then it went downhill from there.

Anyways, strongly recommended, if you, like myself isn’t a fan of Swedish titles, this will change your entire outlook.

An epic thank you from the core of my being to the beautiful souls at Sony Home Entertainment Nordic, especially to Jesper Nordgren for the copy, looking forward to review the next title.
Xo, Beauty

The Mummy (press-screening review)

Director; Alex Kurtzman
1h 50 minutes
Swedish premiere; TODAY, June 9th!

Yesterday, was the Swedish press screening of The Mummy at the beautiful theater Rigoletto in the heart of the city. And, though I was looking forward to experiencing something parallel and epic, I got mediocre and mellow. I wouldn’t call it a disappointment, it just simply didn’t make the cut.

Though the visual was stunning, some scenes looked rather cheap, and certain characters were completely unnecessary, it just wasn’t enough to satisfy my movie-loving-soul that had been waiting to see the always handsome Tom Cruise in another adventurism story, this time involving mummies, and some other non-human creatures.

It lacked excitement, barely any thrill as these genres are supposed to have, and the plot was quite dull.
Tom Cruise, a talented actor and though I am a fan of his, he didn’t quite fit in here as a treasure hunter, he seemed out of place.
And though the script is supposed to be all about Sofia Boutella, of course, it ends up being a movie where Cruise gets beaten up most parts yet as always comes out without a single scratch nor bruises – too unrealistic.
She, being the main character as the actual MUMMY, was barely showcased as she should’ve been or deserved. No interesting powers whatsoever, and don’t even get me started on Russell Crowe.

A character that was completely unnecessary to have along for the ride was actor Jake Johnson, and as much as I adored him in Let’s Be Cops, he was just awfully placed here.
The acting and expressions were bad, lines, and attempt to throw some humor in ended up being painful.
Brendan Fraser had some sort of charisma and a sparkling smile that he automatically became more charming on screen, and humor became a natural ingredient of the movie as well as for his role. But here, they failed.

As this being an introduction, welcoming characters for the Dark Universe that Universal has planned for the future, bringing us cinematic experiences with some classic monsters, then I’m saddened to say that after this, they’re off to a rocky beginning.

In overall, it’s not a bad movie, might seem like it after this review, but it just wasn’t what I wanted, or expected to see. Some scenes were beautifully made, Sofia Boutella as the ancient Princess was great, and it was entertaining for a once time commitment, but that’s practically it. 5.6/10

Brain on fire (Review)

Director; Gerard Barrett
1h 35 minutes
From February 2017

An incredible story about a young woman and her family’s struggle and fight with the medical department, trying to figure out their daughter’s almost invisible disease.
Based on a true life event, turned to a biography, Brain On Fire should be watched by every human walking the face of the Earth. It’s scary, painful, yet uplifting and a tremendous eye-opener.

Brain On Fire is about Susannah Cahalan, (Chloë Grace Moretz) a 21-year-old writer at the Post who out of the blue starts showing unreasonable behavior.
From seizures, chronic, to psychotic and schizophrenic symptoms, unable to work, sleep, and think, she goes to a doctor who says she’s completely healthy and there’s nothing wrong with her.
That is until everything escalates and her parents have her hospitalized, fighting every doctor that tells them their daughter is doing just fine, until, Dr. Najjar turned professor is brought into the investigation, and finally, after almost a month, he finally figures out her disease.

Miss Cahalan, had been caught with a rare autoimmune disease called Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis that makes your body target your brain.
The right side of her brain that regulates her left side of her body had gotten an inflammation, that besides just attacking her brain, her body became a target as well, unable to move toward the end.
As she recovered she had to start all over again, from learning to talk, smile, and walk.

Her journey should be heard and watched by the entire human population, it’ll bring you great knowledge, besides learning about a new illness, it inspires you to never take one persons or doctors word for it.
If you don’t feel like yourself, have strange symptoms, then talk to someone, and if he or she says you’re alright, then go to the next one.
NEVER settle. Cahalan’s parents fought to the very last until they finally got results. It’s your health and life that’s at stake, or even a close family member or friend.

It reminded me a great deal of my mother and myself.
Around four years ago, I suddenly couldn’t get out of my bed, as the days went by I turned into a vegetable. I felt constantly drained, beyond exhaustion, massive migraines, and my body was colder than ice. I felt pure ice running through my veins as if I were freezing to death, yet it was hotter than ever on the outside.
My brain started exploring places it had never gone to before, everything became dark, and I was tired, sleeping for days, only getting up for a glass of water or visit to the bathroom.
One day, my mother with her supernatural motherly strength managed to get me to the doctor, had them take some tests, (and to keep this short) the third time they all said I was fine, until she fought and forced them to take more tests, and on the 4th time she asked for the results to look over them herself and noticed that my blood values were low, on the 5th test the doctor apologized for having missed it and it was a miracle that I was alive due my blood being so thin that it was practically water, on the risk zone to cancer.
The rage steaming through my mother’s pore as I sat there as a Zombie is an image I’ll never forget.
The day I have kids, I want to be exactly like my mother.

Great performance by Moretz. It was inspiring, important, and a job well done. 6/10

This Boy’s Life (Review)

Director; Michael Caton-Jones
1h 55 minutes
From 1993

Based on a true story that took place in the late fifties, This Boy’s Life is an heart-wrenching journey of struggle, pain, and freedom. A story about breaking free, and fighting to change a nightmare of a situation. Though dark and dramatic, it’s inspiring and beautiful.

The rebellious teenager Tobias, played by a very young Leonardo DiCaprio, follows his single mother that ones she’s had enough, takes off and leaves, never quite settling, until she meets Dwight, portrayed by the phenomenal, Robert De Niro – a man that comes off as the perfect husband, father, and worker. As the story kick off, slowly easing you into the telling and characters, you start noticing flaws in Dwight. And soon, you’re in for a soul-shattering plot of an abusive relationship between step-father and step-son.

Rather quickly you start picking up the reasons behind Dwight’s behavior, though very unreasonable, he doesn’t seem to think so whatsoever, and it isn’t until toward the end that it get’s extremely physical. During the first stages of the relationship, and the two new families becoming one, you only get glimpses of his temper and way of being and thinking.

Dicaprio, even here at such a young age showed massive potential, and probably what later in life took him to pure stardom, making him one of the today’s greatest actors.
De Niro, though awful character, he portrayed the abusive step-father role as brilliantly as only he would of have.

The mother’s role in this bothered me more than I wanted to, I tried putting myself in her shoes, seeing it from her point of view, but it irritated me that it took so long for her to truly see his true colors, true nature, and persona. She came off as weak, manipulated, and not someone that would stand up for her own flesh and blood.

It’s beautiful and inspiring in the sense that Tobias went off to become a world known novelist and professor.
Breaking free from those horrible chains that were his childhood, stayed strong, and looked forward. Truly compelling in every aspect, the story is absorbing and powerful. 6.8/10

Why him? (Review)

Director; John Hamburg
1h 51 minutes
From 2016!

I’ve always been very fond of any role James Franco has taken on, from his younger days in Freaks and Geeks to Oz the Great and Powerful, The interview, and This is the end.
His essence as an actor is charming, charismatic, and joyful no matter the character he plays. He brings a certain type of humor to the table, and I simply adore him.

In Why Him? We don’t only get to see his sweet smile and glistening brown eyes, but also the brilliant Bryan Cranston as his soon to be father in law – many may know him as the phenomenal actor from the hit tv show, Breaking Bad.

Laird (Franco) an eccentric, spiritual, and honest millionaire tries to win over his girlfriend family and fathers approval over the holidays, but not all goes as smoothly as he might’ve hoped for.

Why Him? It wasn’t what I expected, I wouldn’t exactly call it bad, yet I can’t for the life of me find something positive to say regarding the movie besides the incredible ensemble they put together. I mainly cringed at certain parts, might’ve cracked a very small smile or two throughout the entire story, but it just wasn’t cutting it.
The script was nowhere near original, we’ve through history witnessed many films with similar plots where the boyfriend or girlfriend don’t make the cut and the family just find them strange and odd but eventually eases up and ends up welcoming the new member with open arms once they get to know them. It’s not new folks. 4/10

Baywatch (press-screening review)

Director; Seth Gordon
1h 56 minutes
Swedish premiere; June 2

I don’t get all the hate this film has gotten through social media, I ignored the reviews, didn’t even watch the trailer – making my cinematic experience ten times more entertaining due to lack of expectations. I found it enjoyable with a charming and charismatic ensemble of different personalities, a blend of characters in a humoristic set of sandy beaches, hot bodies, and summer vibes.

As much as I enjoyed it, however, I did get slightly disappointed at the soundtrack at certain points, I was positive they would use the original soundtrack in the beginning while you see the lifeguards running on the beach in their glowing tans and red swimsuits. You get a 3-second glimpse of the song, but not connected to the beach scene, the one everyone remembers from the tv-show the movie is based on.

Lifeguard Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) is recruiting new guards, and once he’s chosen three new faces to join the team, throughout they uncover a criminal plot together.

I was highly entertained through most parts, I laughed a whole lot which I haven’t done in a while which was fantastic, the chemistry between Johnson and Efron was sparkling, they played their roles brilliantly and I’d love to see more of them together. They had the funniest scenes, and it was the blast.

You got the beaches, the entertainment, and the criminal drama – a great cocktail for this summer! 7/10

Thank you to UIP for the screening, and also thank you to all you new readers.

Get out (Review)

Director; Jordan Peele
1h 44 minutes
From April 2017

Get Out left me gasping for air, the level of suspense and mystery was a perfectly blended cocktail of paranoia and dark thrill that will crawl underneath your skin and stay right there, taunting you with its dark and provocative script and premise long after the movies powerful ending.

Chris, played by the immensely talented actor Daniel Kaluuya is meeting his Caucasian girlfriend’s family for the first time, but once upon his arrival, he starts having a strange knot created inside of him, alarming him about the mystery that goes on behind closed doors.
As he only sees black people on the estate as the family’s servants, he starts wondering what in the world he’s stepped into…

It’s a fantastic cinematic experience with some Purge meets 12 years of slave vibes, I’m not in any way comparing them due to them being completely different genres and stories, but the same feeling I got when watching The Purge was making itself present during Get Out.

It’s dark, it’s scary, it’s smart! With its brilliant acting and directing, it’s a movie that will stay with you for a long time.
Loving that Peele delivered some rationally thinking characters with a great sense of mind. Sometimes that along in thrillers have bothered me, the way certain roles were played out, thinking that I’ve met bread with a higher IQ. Here, Chris (Kaluuya) acted out and did what you would want someone in his situation to do.  7/10