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Ladyhawke (1985)

Ladyhawke (1985)

Noble. If there's any one word to sum up this movie that'd be it!

What starts as the tale of a boy - Philipe Gastone - managing to escape the Aquila dungeons, soon turns into the tragic love story of a man who turns into a wolf at night, and a lady who turns into a hawke in day. They fight side by side but can never truly meet. Always together but always apart.

It's poetic, romantic, light-hearted sometimes but most of all... beautiful. It's a fairytale like you don't see too often these days, starring Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer in the lead roles as the knight Navarre and the beautiful Isabeau. And then there's Matthew Broderick as the boy. The old priest too: Leo McKern. Amazing voice.

I love the milieu - the castles and lowlands, and the special effects are basic but artistic. They look good. The music's grand - not too much, not too little. The tension's always nearby, and the story captivating from start to finish. It's dramatic, to say the least.

Rutger plays the knight game well. It feels like a movie from another time, with a religious theme but... not a disturbing or overtaking one. It goes with the setting - valiant, dark, and dreamy.

It's like a fairytale should be. Issabue and Navvare are the perfect couple, and for a few moments it was a pleasure to join them in their world, and their at times hopeless journey for love and justice.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Logan Lucky (2017)

Logan Lucky (2017)

Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Yeah that's pretty much it! After the recent Overdrive I wanted more cars so: here we go again! Judging by the cover I thought this movie would take me back to the old Burt Reynolds days a bit (a lot of race track driving, chauvinism and crazy but clean comedy)... but there wasn't so much driving going on here so much as a heist at a race track.

There's little focus on the race - or cars in general - but the little we get does look good, and as for the comedy: they got that part right!

I was surprised but happy to see Channing Tatum in the lead role, with good help from his one-armed brother Adam Driver (hey that's the guy who plays Kylo Ren - I just realized!), not to mention his sister Riley Keough. They all have different names in the movie, of course. Daniel Craig is another happy surprise - unhappy a character as he plays.

It feels a bit like a hillbilly version of Ocean's 11, but in a good way. They both introduce the good sides of the culture and make fun of it at the same time. It's not so serious-like.

The atmosphere's nice, the comedy's not too loud, the relationships transcend the story and although the tension's never expectedly high it does keep you watching. It's not blockbuster action so much as it is the story about a heist, and it's a story told pretty well.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Category 7: The End Of The World (2005)

Category 7: The End Of The World  (2005)

So I ended up watching this one anyway, and it was... about the same as the last one. It's another TV movie - or a mini-series if you like. 2 episodes.

The storm hunter is back, and I'm glad he made it through the last one unharmed, but the rest of the cast is all new. Or... most of them? I recognize a few other faces, but no names on the IMDB cast list. The plot this time deals with (apart from the Earth-ending storm) a kidnapping drama with a bunch of superficial kids.

There's a bit distracting a tone on religion with this one, and the storms don't look all that huge - maybe even smaller than they seemed in the previous movie (though the special effects are definitely better). Overall it was... good, but not really that exciting. With the previous the threat felt more perceptible somehow, this: just a sequel.

I said this was called Category 7: End of Days (2005) in the last review but apparently it was really Category 7: The End of the World. Just putting that in here in case someone's searching for the title and it doesn't show up!

I wouldn't recommend this one as anything more than a pastime, but if that is what you're looking to pass - and you really have no better title available to do so with, then by all means give it a shot.

 rated 2/5: decent

Overdrive (2017)

Overdrive (2017)

Finally a car movie with really old cars! I don't think I've seen any this old since Gone In 60 Seconds. The old one. And maybe even then they weren't this old...

They do make for an awkwardly slow-driving chase in the final segment of the movie, but who cares when they're so awesome to look at?! And the driving overall is as much an art form as the cars themselves. Some of those golden oldies to come in harms way too - they're not just there as decoration, even if I'm not sure they really are as old as they look, or how much of the carnage is special effects and props and how much not...

The whole movie is beautiful - from the action, to the cars, to the women standing on the sidelines - who almost seem like they're there only for their appearance sometimes. They don't have much to contribute plot-wise but... it wouldn't be quite the same without them either. I'm glad they don't mind the stereotype. At least not noticeably.

Overall it's a somewhat shallow, but thoroughly entertaining and good-looking action movie about two brothers who boost cars. There's two girls, and two rival gang leaders with a wide assortment of vehicles in their garages too. That's the main cast, pretty much.

The intrigue's alright though. It feels a bit like a mixture between Ocean's 11 and Redline - another smooth car movie coincidentally ten years old this year. It had the same superficial tone to it but faster cars and a female protagonist - who come to think of it looks a bit like the sidekick in this one. Maybe even better. She could sing, too.

A lot of it - save for the cars, gender switch and added action - does feel vaguely familiar. Both movies had their ups and downs, but in many ways this feels like a more polished, more intensified; more incentivized version of the former. Not sure it's really worth a full four but... it all just looked and felt so good! If you like cars you'll probably like this.

It's a blast from start to finish, with an intro composed of smooth and soft car bodies that curve, caress and lure you in easy. And the following scene with the truck was pretty savage too. Redline meets Fast & Furious? Sort of. Whichever inspirations they had they used them right.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Cell (2000)

The Cell (2000)

This one's a dance of death - a musical of the macabre. It starts out serene, with dunes of desert sand playing in the wind... but soon takes a trip to the psychotic, sexual, and dangerously deranged.

It moves from the mind of kid in a coma to the mind of a psycho - that might help the FBI find a missing woman locked within a cube of glass soon to be filled with water. A cube of glass he put her in, with a mind full of cubes the protagonist risks falling into herself.

J-Lo plays Katherine - the main character - a psychologist extraordinaire, and Vince Vaughn the cop with commitment. They start out at different places in the movie, but are soon brought together in the common cause of finding this woman and saving her life - and as Katherine gets all the more entangled in the mind of the madman: maybe saving him too.

The scenes are bizarre, both dark and sunny. They're artsy - like Suspira. They look like I miss those days! Of when movies really were a form of art. Horror. Thriller. Fantasy. Morbid, maniacal, sensual, sinister, mystery and mind games... to the point you don't really know what's real or not.

And even when it's over can you really know for certain? The ending was... less open to interpretation than I expected it to be, though. I'm still not sure. Uncertainty has a certain appeal. She drives off in a blue car.

Overall this was a thoroughly well-made movie. Uncomfortable and tense, but beautiful in its own way. Different. It's like the regular serial killer thriller with a twist; both sci-fi and horror mixed in.

It might be Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn's strongest performances as well! I wasn't expecting so much from them, but they go beyond. It's a not-overly-known but very well selected cast overall, for a not-overly-known but exceptional movie. This is going in my favorites.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Don't Breathe (2016)

Don't Breathe (2016)

Scary movies are coming back in style lately! Here's another one. Another good one, that is.

The movie tells the tale of a trio of kids who decide to rob a blind man living in an abandoned part of the city, though little do they know the blind man is not really alone, but lives there with some dark secrets...

It wasn't as scary as I expected. Not many jump scares. Not that big an element of less visible horror - but it definitely had an always perceptible tension. A presence. A threat. The blind man makes a good villain, though the ambiguity of what's really right and wrong - and who's deserving of what happens to them - makes the movie feel pretty unique.

It's creatively filmed, with style and relevance - focus on details that matter - and it did have a few twists along the way. Doesn't always follow protocol.

It also reminded me a bit of Sleep Tight: A Spanish thriller/horror movie with a few common elements, even if the bad guy there really is the bad guy - no ambiguity about it.

I'm impressed with how much they managed with so limited settings too. From the outside the house didn't look like much, but when they're trapped inside it: doors locked, windows boarded, a rabid dog running through the hallway: it's a maze. It's a mansion. It's intense. The setting and sense of isolation occasionally remind me of Resident Evil too.

It doesn't hesitate to get uncomfortable, doesn't always go how you expect it to, and in the end... well, just give it a watch. You'll see.

And avoid the trailer if you can. It has one major spoiler.

Overall this was a great movie. Creative, creepy, and as with a few other recent titles it feels like it's a part of a whole new movement of modern horror. With titles like Get Out, Light's Out and The Purge they're really bringing the genre back to life again - moving away from a wave of gore and shock-horror to movies that really focus on the scares. It's all here.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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