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Van Helsing (2004)

Van Helsing (2004)

The special effects maybe haven't all stood the test of time, the atmosphere's often a little dark and hazy in lack of detail (didn't think about this the last time I watched it), and Kate Beckinsale really had a sexier outfit in the Underworld series, but overall...

Well it wasn't great overall, but it was exciting, and different. Atmospheric.

It feels like a welcome break from the typical horror movie, with not just Dracula but also Werewolves and Frankenstein and the Vatican and Van Helsing and all mixed in. And Hugh! What a medley.

I remember having a fun time with this one last I saw it, so I decided to watch it again, and for a while I wasn't convinced but... it really does get you at the end. Damn. Didn't remember it being that good after all.

Hope I forget enough to give this a shot down the line again.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Tradition Is Peer Pressure...

Tradition is peer pressure from dead people.

From the latest (at least it was when I first heard this quote) Hot Ones episode.

It's got some gems!

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The special effects aged a bit, but the intensity's still there. The action's real. I can see why this is still a classic.

The trucks. The explosions. The liquid nitrogen. The fire. The bad dream. Dyson's final moment in the lab. The moment where Arnold walks out of the elevator. The early scenes at the asylum, and arcade. The iconic intro.

There is just so much good direction here, and the soundtrack plays along perfectly. Fades in at the right time. Builds up. Takes a break. Comes back. Like when Arnold goes rampant with the minigun.

It builds up to that moment, and then pauses as it all goes silent, and then comes back with an added intensity when the big teams swarm the place.

Considering David's overall so calm and collected character it feels like his moments of 'Come on! Let's go! Oh shit!' are a little exaggerated. On two occasions. But that's the only bit of possibly unbefitting acting or dialog I can find here. It's all so... perfect. Minute detail. Chaos. Mayhem. The way the camera pans, or sometimes sways, and seems to enhance the sense of reality with less smoothed-out movements.

I wonder how they managed some of these scenes technically too. The blastwave was so perfect. The liquid nitrogen freezing - that bit looked pretty real too. A lot of details here I wouldn't have expected to see in a movie from this time, or expected they'd still hold... even the intro - a glimpse into the dystopian future where mankind's been entirely wiped out - is alright.

It probably is the best Terminator movie of the lot. Still. Now and forever.

Need to watch the first one again too...

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Afterlife Of The Party (2021)

Afterlife Of The Party (2021)

A social butterfly who dies during her birthday week is given a second chance to right her wrongs on Earth.

It is cliché, and the tagline pretty cheesy, but how can you not love it anyway? It looks good; feels good; has an entertaining theme.

It's a feelgood story about a party girl who - unlike what you might expect from the title - does not just go to heaven and keep partying, but more so has to slow down and think things through; make things right with the people she cares about.

I'm a little disappointed it didn't delve even deeper into that particular bit of it though. Cliché connections. No really decisive encounters. No bad people, like that party gang. No death by water slide off roof like you might've expected. But heartfelt, all the way.

I especially like the friend.

It's good. It's not out of this world good and it seems more of a chick flick than one of mine but: I like it. They did it well. Charming; not bland as hell.

 rated 3/5: not bad

An Empress And The Warriors (2008)

An Empress And The Warriors (2008)

The country is not in crisis, the country is sick. I have no medicine for the sickness where the strong bully the weak.

A love story in war never goes the way you want it to... but somehow the successor of her father, an empress, runs into a doctor in the woods, and they dream of flying away together.

Donnie Yen plays a part too - mainly the hero's death all movies like this seem to have, but the romantic premise was an unexpected one, and a refreshingly different one when it comes to this type of movie.

Maybe I should've expected it with the name though?

It's sad, but beautiful, with battle... they really make love stories for all genders don't they. Wonderful worlds so high you can almost touch the heavens; a mindstate so clear you're not afraid to shed a tear. May not have been the greatest movie ever but it's a contender, I'll share.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Airborne (2022)

Airborne (2022)

A virus sweeps the world and incites social disarray and sickness... a typical story. A lost little white man in the woods - a former accountant who lost his wife and daughter and headed away in search for answers and purpose, meets a big black man with a silver cross who saves his life and shows him how to survive.

...and then the Illuminati come in! A group set on killing all religious people. And our weak main man's handed a bible - which the Illuminati are searching to destroy - and develops some pretty impressive bow-related skills and they head off to a place called Safe Haven together - a tiny little refuge headed by a preacher, and together they make one final stand against their foes...

They pose the age old question of why God doesn't save us if he exists, and in the end they don't answer it, as usual. They also script the movie as if us agnostics are heathens totally unaware of the scriptures, or who this 'Jesus' guy is, and I'm initially a little on edge after having been to a party with a few religious relatives who really shouted out another relative who used a cuss word they considered blasphemous, enforcing this feeling I have that religious people tend to be somewhat unreasonable in their beliefs; secular; overly preachy; care more about God than about their brethren... but the movie never took the wrong road. It stayed light-hearted even through the hardship.

I gotta give props. I'm impressed how well they handled it after all.

It may not have motives I consider as noble as those who believe of course do; may not be made in a way that'd sway my own fundamental beliefs on what it means to be human, or what we're here on this Earth to do... but they stayed true to the faith. It's kinda great. A little naïve maybe but also inspiringly so...

It's a budget movie with a small cast but it's not all bad. Kinda refreshing.

Kept me watching all the way. I like the characters.

 rated 2.5/5: almost not bad

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