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28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later might've been the first zombie apocalypse movie to take place in England. No actually, forget that, I just remembered Brain Dead. Maybe the first zombie movie was actually made in England?

This one is a bit different from other movies within the genre in that the zombies don't necessarily need to bite you to infect you, you just need to swallow some of their blood. And they're spewing blood all over the place so that's not very difficult to do, so of course a few people get infected and things quickly get a bit complicated.

The movie, true to tradition, starts out in an empty hospital ward. The main character wakes up from a long and deep sleep and ventures out into a barren world infested by these critters we now often call the Walking Dead. He makes it to a sort of safe haven, but no haven is truly safe in such times. It's a world where people exploit other people, where anarchy rules and people chose to live for different reasons, a world where some do anything to stay alive. Truly a word that showcases the darker side of humanity.

It's a gritty movie, fast-paced and realistic, violent, and strangely down-to-Earth compared to many other zombie movies. You always get the sense that the world is way too open, it's never really safe even when zombies aren't lurking around every corner. Probably because they run really really fast.

This is not one of my favorite movies particularly because of the grittiness and realism, even though that's one of the aspects that bodes for some refreshing variation. I usually like the movies with at least imaginary safety, where people hole up in a large concrete cage, stack up resourcing, fight it out and then somebody screws it all up for everyone. Here, it's more about escaping; staying alive. But all the same, a very good movie!

 rated 3/5: not bad

LETHAL Ladies: Return To Savage Beach (1998)

Return To Savage Beach (1998)

The movie starts off with a beach, a beautiful busty babe in bikini, quick character introductions (apparently they're all a bunch of secret agents... already the plot is beginning to thicken) as they all gather to watch a satellite launch and converse with a kind of acted dialog that makes my expectations on acting quality within this movie drop a bit lower than it initially was, and after that... it doesn't rise.

It's all so incredibly badly acted at first I wasn't sure I'd want to even leave a review, but around 30 minutes in a bunch of martial artists enter the scene and then... well no, actually I really don't have anything to say, not even the martial arts are good (but props for at least including some!). There are plenty of beautiful sceneries and beautiful people, and some entertaining gadgets and props, but as for acting and plot... it's about as generic as it can get.

 rated 2/5: decent

101 Dalmations (1996)

101 Dalmations (1996)

It's strange how most animated movies back in the day were about dogs. Then came cats. It was all cats and dogs (sorry, dogs and cats), two fractions of tame animals that apparently everyone could relate to because everyone had them as pets.

I've never had a pet cat/dog... but I still relate to them... and I guess that point was proven somewhere along the line (The point that people don't need to have an animal as a pet to relate to it, and for that matter: the fact that humans can actually relate to other species. Or maybe using animals lets humans distance themselves from the characters and find better qualities in themselves... but lets leave that discussion for another pair of brackets!), because now they're exploiting all kinds of animals in their movies.

Cats and dogs are still popular, but then along came hamsters, exotic birds, even slugs!

Time's change!

Note that my cat and dog speech doesn't apply to sidekicks. I just realized there have been all kinds of those throughout the years, since way way back... think whales and parrots and what-nots...

Anyhoo, 101 Dalmatians tells the story of an outcast, a dog with no spots, very reminiscent of that other story about a weak little puppy who gets looked down upon and then one day stands up for himself and shows the world what he's really capable of. It's a feel-good story, with a fair dose of drama and comedy... and lots of dogs. There's also the cruel Cruella De-Ville, a particularly strong-personality nemesis. Watching this movie again, it's not as awesome as the first time I saw it... but I guess we all grow, huh? At least the animation is all manual, without the overdose of 3D effects permeating pretty much everything nowadays. Good watch!

 rated 3/5: not bad

102 Dalmations (2000)

102 Dalmations (2000)

I remember watching the original 101 Dalmatians movie waaaay back, and it was great. The dog without spots, the typical outcast story as seen from a new angle, with feel-good humor, drama, tension, and of course with all Disney stories an ending that was... well you know how they are. :P

102 Dalmatians just wasn't the same thing. Graphically it's definitely an improvement, but as with most sequels, somehow the mystery from the original is gone - and the story isn't as well-thought-out. Or maybe it's just too well-thought-out, it has too much going on, and following the red line is harder than it used to or should be.

It did have a much more light-hearted approach, and yet it's much more exaggerated and over the top. It's a fun watch but... somehow it doesn't feel like it'll make classic. Wonder if they planned a 103... this year would've been perfect for it!

 rated 3/5: not bad

Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987)

Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987)

Props for creative opening credits, something most B-movies from this day and age didn't have! Same thing with outro credits. Names on crates, moving boxes, crates moving around, boxes eh... well it's a fun sequence, low-budget as it may be.

As for the movie itself? Well it has an awesome cover, but content-wise it's not really sublime product. The main characters are a couple of (often topless) babes, so that's a plus, but I wouldn't consider them very good actors. There are big guns, sexy ladies, a snake getting its head blown of, supposed punchlines that don't always make the cut, a killer thriller plot in exotic locations featuring good guys, bad guys, drugs and psychos... and a whole lot of bad acting. It was an entertaining watch... but really nothing I'd watch again!

As Confucius says: Man with deadly hands must be very careful when...slapping on after-shave!.

 rated 2/5: decent

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

The Raid Redemtion (2011)

This was an awesome watch; one of the best fighting films of the year. It's the second time I watch it, and though I'm not getting the same impression of non-stop action this time around, it's definitely still intense. The action may slow down every once in a while, but the tension is on a constant high.

The movie follows a group of SWAT members as they prepare to storm an apartment blocked where a notorious criminal has recently started housing other criminals as guests. So, there's a SWAT team, and there's an apartment block full of criminals, and there are cops. It's now probably obvious that something is going to go pretty bad, and that it does.

The actors are all great, the action is varied, brutal and grittily realistic. People get various body parts blown off, get thrown into walls, get pierced by knifes, shot by snipers, blown up by grenades, toppled over tables and fridges and thrown out of windows. It's intense. It'll never bore you. If you haven't seen it, give it a watch, the blend between gunfights and hand-to-hand combat is satisfying as well, not too unrealistic but not too realistic either.

Dredd (the 2012 movie) was pretty much based on this on this one. If this movie was actually based upon an older Dredd comic however, I have no idea, but if you liked that one, you're bound to like this, and vice versa, though they are quite different (Dredd doesn't have so much focus on hand-to-hand combat, but on the other hand it has amazing visuals and considerably better gunfights). Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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