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Mortal (2020)

Mortal (2020)

AKA Torden. What's up with that translation?!

If the title doesn't clue you in immediately, this is a movie about Thor.

Or more so the descendant thereof. A more traditional - less grandiose - but equally awesome and modern (comparing to the Marvel Universe counterpart here) rendition thereof.

Though I actually didn't realize this until a while in, even though I saw the movie knowing the original name. And it might be better if you don't know, too. If you start watching without expectations and let them grow as the story unfolds. But how can you do that if you've read this far now? Never mind. Hope it still upholds a certain sense of magic regardless.

The cast's small but functional. One American, and a bunch of Norwegians, and occasionally a crowd.

The scaled down cast makes it intimate sometimes, but sometimes also unfortunately lacking - like the news stories and crowds don't hold as much weight when they're as small as they are here. It needs to be the whole world to really be epic - and though they manage that in part by adding in some foreign elements among the 'villains', that link doesn't really come across. You still just see Norway. Norwegians. Small place. Limited scale of potential doomsday event.

The lightning's where it shines though. And with the views (fjords are nice). And with the effects, which are occasionally impressively well done.

Nat Wolff's tattered body coverage may occasionally almost look like a tattoo, the hallway encounter wasn't as emotional as I hoped it would be, and it ends in a bad way, but still. It's got something special.

The people. The lights. The places. They build.

They managed it pretty well after all. Better than Gundala even. Different though these similarly supernatural cinematized tales may be.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Misfits (2021)

The Misfits (2021)

After being recruited by a group of unconventional thieves, renowned criminal Richard Pace finds himself caught up in an elaborate gold heist that promises to have far-reaching implications on his life and the lives of countless others.

Pierce Brosnan doesn't really seem to fit in at all here, but it was a charming movie no matter. Not all bad. Feels like he did his part, just wasn't really the best one for it; maybe didn't have the supporting cast he would've needed.

It's a trip. A tale of goodwill and conning. All rich and luxurious, just with a little simple a script; a little simple enacting and everything.

It had an Oceans 11 kind of Heist vibe that I really liked, just didn't hit the mark there perfectly; didn't execute the planning/execution stages as flawlessly. Nor the character characters.

I liked Rami Jaber and Jamie Chung in particular. The rest were alright. Nick Cannon's comedic acting goes a little overboard - that's maybe the bit that annoys me the most.

If you want a refreshingly light action movie with class and an enjoyable envoy of characters you might like this one! It's not perfect, but not bad, and the sceneries are something else.

If you don't happen to already live in Dubai.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Debug (2014)

Debug (2014)

Six young computer hackers, sent to work on a derelict spaceship, are forced to match wits with a vengeful artificial intelligence that would kill to be human.

The whole premise reminded me a bit of DOOM, or the Red Queen bit in Resident Evil, though this was way better than the former in all areas, and not so much like RE that the similarity really needs to be mentioned there. I'd just be remiss to not convey any potential similarity that comes to mind.

I was also surprised to see Momoa here! Props. And I thought this'd be a worse movie than it was. Then I thought it'd be better, occasionally, but they manage at least the atmosphere and building paranoia/fear masterfully all the way through.

I also thought I already wrote up a review for this but it's nowhere to be found right now so... this'll be a bit quicker and more sporadic than my first attempt. If I did this already. Don't really want to write all again.

The actors here were good, the ending suitable for a dystopian sci-fi flick as such... and the highlight character (who I thought was an MMA fighter for some reason - either she has a look-alike or she's a good actor!) Jeananne Goossen carries the movie a fair share of the way.

Been reading reviews saying the atmosphere is the missing element here, but I don't see that as a flaw at all.

It does however sometimes move a little slow. And the outside of the ship doesn't feel as authentic or intricate as it could have been.

Focus on the inside though. That's where you supposedly have your soul.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008)

Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008)

After their car breaks down in the desert, four friends try to find their way back to civilization while trying to escape Rusty Nail's bloody wrath.

Rusty Nails is a trucker; the main villain of this story.
With a suitably dark voice for the role. With a somewhat psychotic personality. Also with an apparent and highly unnecessary need to torture and/or decapitate people with his truck. And when these four aforementioned teens actually steal his car - a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle... well then you know they might be off to a bad start here.

The final scene where the truck goes off a cliff is suitably savage, and the car's beautiful, Kyle Schmid and Nicki Aycox's acting in particular is too. Impressive ability to change with the story.

It's horror, it really is, and I love this dusty desert road drip vibe too, though the thing about just casually stealing a car in the first place ? Hmm? Really?! Only in America.

I hope.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Jaws 3-D (1983)

Jaws 3-D (1983)

They really made a sea world for and out of this one! And it reminds me a bit of Cruel Jaws, which came after, and was clearly a rip-off. But a well-done one that in some aspects probably surpassed the original.

They have the theme park too here, the sunken ship, the grenade and all... it's all very familiar. The latter was definitely a lot more fast-paced and gripping, while this one clearly had a much bigger budget. They had crowds here. Synchronized dolphin flips. A real underwater structure. Suppose this might've been the one to inspire Deep Blue Sea too.

The 3D effects (two of them that are really obvious even if you aren't watching this in 3D) didn't stand the test of time all that well unfortunately, but they must've been something out of this world at the time the movie came out, and I'm glad they got a happy ending for once too.

The movie overall feels a bit disconnected from the earlier two, but with a similar style, and mood, and girls and all that shizzle, and some black guys in higher positions for probable purpose of increased equality... I don't dislike progress but it just feels very clear here that's the only reason they were there. Could've played a more central role. Could've been involved with the final scenes, or rescue, or... you know what? They could've just omitted them too if they were just there to play victims anyway.

Then again I could've just not got stuck on this one observation in the first place. Why do I notice. What is color but a color. The road towards film (and anywhere else for that matter) diversity sure has been a bumpy one, and still is always so angled. Everyone's always wherever they are for a reason, with a role that appeals to people of particular groups, but not always because they're credible, or suitable, or good actors. I wish observations like this were never a thing; that they focused more on the product than on suitable breadth of racial distribution.

Never mind that tangent! If you liked the earlier Jaws you'll probably like this too, and enjoy the new setting, and the people.

They also certainly made up for earlier shortcomings in regard to lacks of crowds. Now there are always plenty of observers whenever there is ongoing carnage or a sense of desperation and danger that needs be conveyed. The more people involved the bigger potential sacrifice no?

The desperation does feel real here, and the shark wound looks real, but then again you rarely get a sense the shark is actually in the same place as the swimmers. They cut to either one or the other, or you just see a fin, and the slow-mo shots of the glass cabin were shameful, and there's a loose end with Lisa.

Though it looks good and feels improved in some areas this franchise is also starting to feel a bit watered down, like they've got it but they've forgotten how to use it. It feels used, though still not bad. I liked the water stunts in particular.

It could've probably been bigger, badder and better considering the budget but it's still worth a watch if you've started on this road.

Of Jaws and all. Of these underwater movie franchises with beasts that clobber us like dolls; have water sports involved and all. Overall...

 rated 3/5: not bad

Team America: World Police (2004)

Team America: World Police (2004)

Popular Broadway actor Gary Johnston is recruited by the elite counter-terrorism organization Team America: World Police. As the world begins to crumble around him, he must battle with terrorists, celebrities and falling in love.

Didn't catch the aquarium bit last time I watched this! That I remember, at least. That scene was just masterful.

In addition to being a bizarre; violent; superficially somewhat mindless but really pretty deep and appreciably comical creatively crazy action movie from the makers of (I think?) South Park, this is also a movie with dolls. Or puppets, if you're proper. With surprisingly lifelike eyes and mannerisms sometimes but they are still very clearly puppets.

It's genius. Crazy. Political. Cynical. Social. Liberal. Musical, sometimes.
And it has a sex scene that was actually tamer than I expected - was listening to a podcast that mentioned how crazy it was and so I had to go back here and have a look... and it wasn't that crazy.

What kind of crazy shit am I watching these days huh?

But that shouldn't be the reason you watch a movie like this should it.

It should be for the unique; creative touch and plotline insanity, with political satire and a way of portraying it all (excessive puking excluded - I think I enjoyed that scene more last time) that lets them poke fun at pretty much anyone without repercussion, from Kim Jong-un to Alec Baldwin...

Though was Pearl Harbor really that bad? Gotta see that one again too...

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

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