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Million Dollar Crocodile (2012)

Million Dollar Crocodile (2012)

Strange title aside, this was actually a good movie.

The digital animation (of the crocodile, mainly) is not really up to par with Hollywood special effects, but it's still good enough to not destroy the atmosphere of the movie noticeably. The filmography otherwise is great, and most of the crocodiles in the movie are really crocodiles, but there is one, a really big one, the main one, that's unreal. I mean, unreal, as in: animated.

The movie starts with a grandpa selling off his crocs, a little boy not wanting Amao (the big digitally animated one) to be sold. The grandpa thinks they're (the crocs) going to be taken care of, but they're really all just going to be food. Or maybe the grandpa knows but tells the boy otherwise. Anyway, Amao is sedated and taken away. Nobody's happy. Skipping frames...

At the antagonists HQ, Amao is about to be 'executed' when he wakes up, goes wild, kills one of the bad guys, escapes, and ends up in a small village tea garden, where he swallows a big bag with 100,000 euros in it. So there, the title is explained.

The movie start might not be so uplifting, but after that the comedy does roll in, even if sadness and drama are often intertwined. There's a little romance there as well, a bunch of interesting characters, and a constant croc chase. The movie has a typical Asian ending. You know, the emotional kind of ending. Amao isn't an evil croc, she's (oh yeah, it's a she) just annoyed at all the people chasing her and trying to slash her up and eat her. Who wouldn't be? It's a good movie. Though it doesn't feature extraordinarily talented actors or a very gripping plotline, it's certainly worth watching. It gets close to a 4, but overall it's still a neutral good movie:

 rated 3/5: not bad

Anticipated Movie Sequels 2013

So... since I did one of these lists back in 2012, why not do one more? A short list of movies I'm looking forward to and then some I'm really not looking forward to this year that just began. It starts with...

A Good Day To Die Hard

Aka Die Hard 5. So far the Die Hard series is one of the best series of action movies ever made. Though nothing can really compare to the first three, the fourth one managed to bring new life to the series, and Bruce Willis is still doing all major ass-kicking in the movies.

In this one, it will be no different, I hope! It will be another great dosage of punchlines and personal warfare, a classic clash of good versus evil in some criminal scheme that is bigger than ever. Actually, the fourth one was the biggest one yet, and it feels like it'd be a hard job to top that one off. Will they even try? Maybe it'll be back to the normal villainous plots as in the former three, Now that the series is back on track and all I suppose they don't need to give it another big push. I haven't read the IMDB info on this one, but I'm looking forward to whatever it brings! Whatever it is, it's bound to be good action.

Monsters University

The original Monsters Inc was no favorite, but it was a good movie; good fun... and I am looking forward to this sequel!

The World's End

Technically this is not a sequel, but it is the third movie directed by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. There was Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and now... The World's End. This time it's a (I'm guessing incredibly fresh and funny) take on the disaster film genre. The first two were great, and I am really really REALLY looking forward to this one!!

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Muay Thai Giant (2008)

Muay Thai Giant (2008)

In my quest for movies with Tim-Man (a Swedish martial artist that's appeared in a lot of Thai-action lately) I stumbled upon this one. Tim-Man isn't in it, instead Nathan Jones filled in the spot as main character, and did a good job at it too! It was a nice break from the serious action movies I've been watching lately (this is an action comedy); Thai-acion is generally pretty brutal. In this movie, even though it's a comedy, with plenty of comedy too, there are some scenes you might not normally put in a comedy. Arms are broken, friends shoot each other, etcetc... but still, it's a comedy. You can tell by the circus music that plays in the background... and because there's plenty of humor. Mostly.

The story is about Barney, an Australian giant who arrives in Thailand. Somehow the police confiscate his passport, and until he can get it back he has nothing, no home, no money, no friends, nothing. The police give him some money and while sitting around doing nothing he meets a young pickpocket and her friend. They become friends and give him a place to live, and he helps out at a restaurant, though he keeps breaking mortars, by accident. It also turns out he turns red and goes on a rampage if he heats some kind of spicy papaya food (?), a feat that comes in handy when suddenly a bunch of bad guys pop up and the main characters are all intertwined in their evil business. here are a few quick shots of the action.

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Deep Imact (1998)

Deep Imact (1998)

The plot reminds of Armageddon, the special effects make me think of 2012 and Day After Tomorrow, but the fact is this movie came out before those three did, and before a lot of other movies that are about pretty much the same thing.

Deep Impact & Armageddon were actually both released the same year, and feature very similar plots. IMDB gives both of them a score of 6 stars, though Armageddon leads by .4. Why? What did that movie have that this one didn't? Both of them had plenty of well-known actors (of which none appear in both movies, that I can see). Maybe Armageddon had more action, or maybe it was because it had Bruce Willis (at the time no doubt peaking in fame thanks to the third part of the Die Hard series) but this one certainly had better special effects! It's a shame it was released in the shadow of Armageddon, even though it came out first, cause it's good. At IMDB Armageddon has more than twice as many votes, which goes to show that the movie was, if not better, apparently more popular.

Btw, just for fun, let's compare the summaries of Deep Impact and Armageddon from IMDB...

Unless a comet can be destroyed before colliding with Earth, only those allowed into shelters will survive. Which people will survive?

After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, NASA recruits a misfit team of deep core drillers to save humanity.

What they don't mention in the summary is that the comet in Deep Impact is the size of New York and weighs around 50 billion tons. Maybe that would crack the ratings up a bit? In the summaries above they don't really work in Deep Impact's favor, so maybe it all boils down to bad marketing for the former. Overall the plots aren't so so different huh, though this one I feel has more depth (and I don't mean just the title) than Armageddon does. There it's just about the heroes, here it's about... well, just keep reading. I'll get to that. There's got to be some story as to why two so similar movies came out the very same year. Something about the millennium coming up? Then why were there not many more of these in 99? Anyway, I'll set the comparisons aside and focus on the movie, which was a good one.

In difference to Armageddon (there I go again) there's not one set character we follow, but rather a few, and all of them play important or less important roles. Some of them don't really have much to do with the incident at all, but nevertheless they gain screen time priority. In the face of disaster, we learn about people. We see how they react, though of course it's one of those movies were we get a very one-sided view. There's drama, there's tragedy, there's love, there's heroism, and there's beautiful filming and special effects. It was definitely worth watching. It feels strange seeing Morgan Freeman in the movie as president though, since he's... well, black, but I suppose this movie was ahead of it's time in many ways. Not least in the special effects department.

Usually when I watch movies from pre-millenium, the special effects that were so amazing at the time don't really cut it any longer, but in this one it's almost the other way around. The special effects here were better than they are in many of the modern doomsday movies I've seen. It had to have had a big budget, cause when the huge wave sweeps in over New York it's a powerful sight to behold. Either that or they just had a team of great people working on the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, you better. If you've seen Armageddon, and you liked it, then you'll probably like this one too. If you're tired of movies like this, then... go watch something with Donnie Yen in it, and if you don't like the kind of movies Donnie Yen makes, then... why are you reading my reviews in the first place? ;) Until next time!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Day Of The Jackal (1973)

Day Of The Jackal (1973)

Could this be the predecessor to The Jackal (1997), or is the name all it has in common? Oh, it was one more thing in common: it's a story about a hitman. In this one, however, the hitman is not known as The Jackal from the start, but rather choses this name at random as his codename when speaking to a his employees. Which codename will you use for this job? Why not the Jackal? Why not. The job? To kill the president. His employees? The OAS.

The story is very factual at the beginning. It starts with a monologue. On August 1962, president Charles De Gaue of France made Albania independent. Some of the population didn't like it. A group of extremists, mostly from the army, swore to kill him in revenge. They tried once, firing over 140 shots in less than 7 seconds at the presidents car (we get a video flashback for this). Miraculously, the president made it to the airport unscathed, even though several bullets pierced the car and one came within an inch of his head. All other passengers were unhurt as well. Now, we jump back the present. OAS is riddled with informants, under surveillance, unable to do another hit, and so they send for one. A relatively unknown hitman with only one job on his resume.

So, the hitman arrives. He goes about the mission professionally, considers it a once in a lifetime job as he'll have to retire right after, and asks for half a million (a lot of money at the time). Half in advance, half on completion. And thus the story starts.

The movie takes place on both sides of the law. On one there's a Jackal, making his preparations, traveling all around the continent, getting false passports, weapons, etc. On the other side the government is trying to find him. They hire a detective to do most of the work, not without success, but it seems the Jackal is always one step ahead. The movie is cleverly filmed and plotted, and it feels like it's partly a documentary, even though it's never mentioned in the film itself. It just seems very realistic. The actors are many, none of them well known, but all putting on a good act. Though the movie is a bit long, it's exiting all the way, and the mysterious main character adds to the excitement. You never get a really good look inside his mind, though you do get to follow all his actions and preparations. Not everything follows plan, and both spontaneity and cleverness blend seamlessly. Even the toughest situations are handled as you'd expect a professional hitman to handle them, although fate doesn't seem to work in his favor.

The Jackal btw (looked it up) is pretty much the same story, with a twist, with Bruce Willis as main character, with a lot more action, with more famous actors, with not as many actors, with not as much planning and with a reinvented plot that kind of ruins the genius in this one. I enjoyed that one too, but that was before I had seen this, the original. This one gets a clear fourth of the full five. The other one... we'll see.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Freelancers

Woah, I just realized 50 is in the movie, along with Robert De Niro. How does that work? 50 can't actually act... or can he? Not to say I didn't enjoy his latest attempt, that one called, *quick IMDB check* Setup. It was good, but he still can't act for shit. Turns out he's been in a whole lot of movies the past few years! I'm surprised! Shocked, even! And I'm looking forward to more of them! He's made a ton of music videos too, around 20 just this year. Crazy. I spent a couple of hours yesterday watching through 50 Cent videos on YT, on just the one official channel. I'm going through them one by one (just skimming, trying not to miss anything important) and I'm not even further back than 2011 yet! I'm starting to wonder if this check-all-old-videos-of-channels-I-subscribe-to plan is going to work. This is going to take forever...

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