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The Tomorrow War (2021)

The Tomorrow War (2021)

Dan's one stubborn man! And this movie's all about family.

Well, aliens too, but mostly family.

You'd think with Chris Pratt and that other guy (I wish I didn't wait so long with my review drafts - forget who I was thinking of here) there'd be more comedy, but it's really quite serious, which is strange considering there's Chris Pratt, so sometimes you just can't take him entirely serious after all. He just doesn't have that serious kind of look does he?

He does great here though, as does his in-movie daughter, and together they save the world from an impending alien threat in ways you wouldn't expect. First in the future; then back to the home world. Spoiler alert.

The alien nest at the end's a bit cliché. The time jumping thing's been done before too. The water fortress however - and alien vessel - and a lot of the visual elements feel new, and their running through the red smoke and throughout abandoned buildings in a dead city of future USA... it feels good. Looks good. The atmosphere's there.

For an action aficionado you can't not enjoy it, and I shan't spoil things like that moment when they fall through the sky but... whoops.

Yupp. There are some good scenes.

I really have no complaints, but for maybe the Transformer-like alien sound effects - re-used yet again in new ways, and the new but also familiar alien designs, and a lot of other familiar elements that seem to cycle through most sci-fi movies these days.

It's a bit like how pop songs keep hitting the same notes and melodies to make people like them. Because they feel familiar, and invoke a certain sense of nostalgia, or belonging, or whatever kind of sensation it is you're looking for when you watch a movie like this/listen to such music...

So in the end it's great, it is. Epic, you could say.

But just like that word now it lacks the packing punch. It feels old already. Even in this fresh future world.

I love it but... are blockbusters nearing the end of the line... or something? It's awesome always, but just doesn't have that special spark. I wonder why. Maybe it's too intense. Too much greatness. Too much of everything.

It does have a beautiful ending. A bit more scaled-down then.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Ice Road (2021)

The Ice Road (2021)

A bunch of miners are trapped in a mine, and a trucker (that's Liam Neeson) accompanied by his intellectually somewhat limited brother are tasked with the mission of transporting thirty tons worth of equipment to get the miners out, over a series of ice roads leading up to the mine.

There's the main premise.

It sounds a little simple, but they reaaally manage to milk it for all its worth, and I must admit the ice and special effects involved with it are pretty expressive. The truckers come across authentic too, especially Laurence Fishburne, an unexpected gem in this particular movie. Though unfortunately he doesn't last long.

It's a simple but good story, once again portraying Liam as the working man who overcomes odds and plays the hero, and once again he does a good job at it, though towards the end it really feels like they milk the fighting scenes a bit too much, and have too many pauses for the sense of desperation to carry all the way.

And the special effects sometimes just don't hold.

They tried though. Sometimes they do. Sometimes you can really feel the cold and depth of water. Sometimes it's dark.

I wonder if this might've been inspired by the Ice Truckers In Alaska series. Watched a few episodes of that years back and it was impressively captivating considering nothing much ever happened. But it could. All the time. Maybe that anticipation was actually a step beyond over-saturated violence in regard to sense of immersion; tension; the captivation you need for a good film...

I like the theme though. Trucks. It's a robust one. The girl's good too.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

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Mercenary Fighters (1988)

Mercenary Fighters (1988)

Real stunts, real sceneries, fireworks for bullets but fiery explosions too, and some scenes feel particularly dangerous. Landing a plane on a bus, the woman picking up the baby right before the jeep pulls through... there are scenes here that I don't think a movie today would be allowed to have.

It has a laid-back pace initially, but once you start immersing yourself in the struggle... it's pretty serious after all. Less of an all-out action movie than I expected. More an anti-war one with plenty of action scenes.

Feels like the intention with the movie and story goes beyond the action, and that's probably a good thing when it's not the strongest point thereof. The danger feels like a stronger point. Real stunts. Real production hazards, even if the mortality in film doesn't quite carry across.

The acting's nothing to hang up in a Christmas tree or anything, but the stunts... I'm certain some people really got injured filming this. If not they sure make it look authentic. Well maybe not authentic but like they really got hurt while trying to NOT get hurt doing those stunts!

It's a movie with a morale, never mind the inconsistent screaming and warrior mentality. Not bad.

The scenery's special too. The details intrusive and real. Tribal female puberty ritual and all? You don't see movies like this today...

Feels like there's something special about a B-movie with elements of realness that indirectly break the fourth wall. Both with the stunts and as intimate scenes as such. I like this style; all the more real era of film that movies like this seem to be of. A lost age. Them days...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Pulse 2: Afterlife (2008)

Pulse 2: Afterlife (2008)

Did you like Silent Hill? You might like this too. It's different but... similar. The same ashen clouds. The same eeriness. The ghosts and all. The open stalls.

It's not perfect but it is hella spooky, with a naked woman and style reminiscent of It Follows, sometimes, and a plot that somewhat reminds me of The Cell. It also seems like there's potential for a sequel, since characters interacted with here don't all disappear.

There may be a solution in sight.

I wonder if the man in red is a reoccurring character from the last one - never did see the first one.

There's no happy ending, it's not a happy movie, but it's one with a fascinating level of effects and general spookiness. Curtains torn that are whole again. A house that's cleaned that's dirty again. A ghost that tries to live yet doesn't realize she's but a ghost. There's a lot of that. And then there's love. There are both the malevolent, and there are those.

If there is a third I need to see it, since nobody's really dead or alive here maybe there's still hope for the dead, and for the living too...

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Hundra (1983)

Hundra (1983)

Swans were definitely harmed in the making of this one! What a barbaric intro. But authentic, definitely... the story starts in a village of warrior women - living in peace in an all but peaceful time, that is one day massacred by men.

There's just one survivor. A warrior woman a level above the rest of them, who just so happened to be on the hunt when the attackers pillage the village. Hundra.

When she returns and sees the death and destruction she first hunts down the remaining attackers, and kills them all. Then she seeks council with an aged master, a hermit living away from the tribe. Female, too. And this master tells her to find a man, so that their clan may live on, and she get a heir that can take after her.

Hundra has no interest - and little experience with men - but you can guess where it's going now no?

It starts so well, but ends so cliché. It starts with desperation. The first attack is brutal - even if that's more so for animals than humans, but the fight scenes become worse for wear too. Hundra looks good, but can she fight? Not really. Not like the village women in that first scene.

Though it may be subpar I did enjoy this movie. And it was a good message. On seeds and all.

Maybe inspired by Conan the Barbarian, with a twist to female empowerment? That one came the year before after all.

Also wonder if her name's inspired by Attila the Hun... or something else. In Swedish it means hundred.

May her clan last for as many years as so! May they procreate and grow.

Not the most gripping or greatly acted always but: good movie.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Flash Point (2007)

Flash Point (2007)

AKA Dou Foh Sin.

Now this is one hell of an action movie. Can't nobody say otherwise. Donnie Yen in his prime. Collin Chou in his too. With a hospital chase to remember, a final showdown in the green fields by the river, an all out brawl in a little concrete abode, and just a plain spectacular - and at times a little tragic - cops and robbers movie a la HK/martial artist style.

It feels both authentic and flashy beyond it, which seems a rare combo. How can it be both? And how can they really make the fights look this good; the intrigue and chase all so intense? It's a gem. Not too long. Hella dense. HK action with cops and all, it's one of the best I've gotta scrawl.

That's all friends.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

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