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I'm Solo On Time

Would be nice with a clone huh?

Extreme Ops (2002)

Extreme Ops (2002)

Here's a movie about a group of extreme sport practitioners involved in a commercial shoot that head up to an under-construction mountain resort to film, and accidentally run into a hardened criminal kingpin hiding out, who eventually starts to think they might be there for him...

It's dedicated to Werner.

I wonder who Werner was. Extreme sportsman possibly?

The movie starts a little corny, with techno or trance music playing as the camera pans around some young individuals performing death-defying stunts in a bundle of different scenarios - from snowy slopes to blue skies to raging rivers and canyons...

It's cut in such a way that it seems you're meant to enjoy the music more than the stunts themselves. It's sped up and fractured, and feels both dated and sloppy, and you don't perceive the danger nearly as much as you could have were they filmed a different way.

But that's not to say I don't still enjoy the style.

It's not one I'd prefer for action, but it's unusual enough that it twists things up a bit; makes this stand out among similar movie counterparts.

Plus I fall in love with the characters along the way, and the music gets surprisingly tense as the stunts do...

Techno Trance Dance and Hardcore's a little out of style now - and I wonder if it was popular even back when they made this movie - but this really was a solid movie.

The stunts look real too - never mind the bad cutting sometimes.

Save for the crappy chopper crash.

And in difference from the location-based dangers the villains never really come across as dangerous or evil as it feels they should.

Gotta learn more about these actors too. I wonder if they really are this crazy for real...

I love their chemistry. I love the girl too - excessively goofy though she may come across in dialog and interactions.

If you like stunts, and skis, slapstick-like parkour and just a lot of momentum and movement overall you'll probably like this.

Good movie after all. Different.

Atmospheric mountain compound too. I wonder if that was a set or no. Wonder if they really filmed most of this atop a mountain, on an under construction resort...

Would be even cooler if they actually did.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Caged (2011)

Caged (2011)

Alternative cover.

Erotic, beautiful, gifted but... oh so twisted.

It's the story of a promiscuous woman - a nymphomaniac of the Netherlands - who after one partner too many ends up drugged and locked in a cellar with someone who seems to hold a grudge against her, accompanied by another woman who blames her for being trapped there.

Occasionally she's taken away in her sleep, tied up, and taken advantage of on a table... but not as you may think.

Does the movie take a stance on the questionable moral aspects of promiscuity or... just explain it? Does it tell a tale of the perverse, or does it serve a purpose?

It's like it tries to define the essence of intimacy, and lust, and relations - though initially it seemed almost like a sensual SAW kind of spin-off.

It reminds me of other movies too.

Basic Instinct comes to mind first. Though there's another, more recent; more familiar one too... Graphic Designs, maybe?

I'm not sure.

There are plenty of similar adult films - and films of a woman in captivity overall - though not quite like this. The prison cage feels like a more familiar theme. Where the threat's perceptible, and lies in the group dynamic, of control, and cravings that cannot be fulfilled.

The isolation's different.

Yet it's not TOTAL isolation.

The two girls are together, but isolated in different ways, and lethal in marital age...

To actually trust a woman when you see movies like this... hmm. Might get difficult. Both women look amazing but they definitely have their demons - and yet one of them looked so Innocent too...

It looks GREAT, it flows well, it shows all, it has a twist - yet does leave you a little uncomfortable when it's all over...

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Captive (2023)

Captive (2023)

I did not expect where this one was going! Vampire movies really are coming back in style.

Thought it'd be the typical weed story: Teenagers breaking into an empty house to party. Though how often does this actually happen in the US? Is it actually an accepted custom over there?! Sure seems like it when you see all movies that start out just like this.

The premise itself feels like an inconsistency, and like an all too simple premise, and the special effects blood is not great, but otherwise... it's different. Filmed well. The setting sells, even if the characters come across somewhat mediocre after half-assardly first introductions.

Stragoy... is that a thing? Movie exclusive? I do like a good twist!

Could've done more with the premise but this was not bad.

Refreshingly different.

And I like the style.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Susi Susanti Love All (2019)

Susi Susanti Love All (2019)

"In 1966, Indonesia, a 21-year old nation, abolished Communism."

Note the capital letters on both Indonesia and Communism. And nation instead of country. A sense of motherland still?

Injustices were done to the Chinese who lived there, yet 26 years later, a Chinese descendant is their hope for a champion in the Olympic games... and her name is Susi Susanti.

It's a badminton movie, about *see title*, starring Laura Basuki as *see title*, and it's... wholesome.

Sometimes backwardly simple, but in the end also surprisingly serious.

You enjoy the people. They feel almost characterized in their naivete sometimes, but when it's all over I realize that I really liked that about them. And who am I to think I'm smarter. I doubt I'd have a chance at an Olympic gold medal at all for starters. Even if they oversimplify somewhat essential plot elements, and turn a major portion of the movie into a typical training movie, where characters discipline themselves, and learn to deal, and get together, and start winning... they also capture the essentials in a way that's enjoyably easy to grasp, and when the turn that really matters finally comes along it hits harder, too.

I've only watched Indonesian movies for the action sequences before this, I think, but there's definitely more to the country than violence. There's love, too. And some badminton witticism you'll only catch if you know it.

I've played my fair share of this particular game too over summers of old - I still didn't catch it before the dad first spoke about it, but what wise words huh, and what a great re-introduction to this honorable old sport... same thing with tennis innit. It's all love. Love all.

I expected this movie would deal with hardship too - it wouldn't be much of a journey without it - but the kind of hardship they do deal with came in a different form than I expected it to.

It's not the in-training kind. It's a realer kind than that. And it's all about contrasts isn't it. The action movies they make show the dark side of their world; this one shows a brighter one. But it's not any less nuanced for it.

There's something special with Indonesian film.

Everything I've seen so far is... essential. Human nature. Life. How the world works. The bigger picture.

Somehow they manage to boil it down so well here too, even if all you thought you were getting was a basic Badminton movie...

Pardon my arrogance.

It's all love. Above all.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Retribution (2023)

Retribution (2023)

It's a new Liam Neeson movie y'all! Neeson in the modern age. High tech and palpable.

It starts so good. A convincing thriller starring Liam as still the not never-aging but more so never young working man, focused on his family, co-operating with a nefarious terrorist who seems keen on killing everyone he loves... with a twist, his family is with him, and it's a race not to find them to save them but to find someone else to save them all.

And to maybe save the marriage while he's at it.

It starts so good.

You feel the desperation in the chase. The tech and gadgetry work well in enhancing and complicating the plot - with some beautiful macro shots and a slow-motion explosion in the intro. But after a while...

It doesn't hold. It ends so quickly, and so unnecessarily.

You'd think Anders would've had more sense than to get into the back of a vehicle with a bomb in it - much less stay in it as it speeds off. And he loses control even earlier.

The dialog falters too.

I appreciate the bonding and rekindling of lost connections that occurs in parallel with the blasts and panic, but it's not all a clever puzzle in the end - nor is there the grander motive that you'd hope for and expect - although I did not expect the villain to be who he was.

It makes sense though, then.

It starts so good... I wish it didn't lose me towards the end. By then it all seems so disappointingly simple after all...

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

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