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Sahara (1943)

Sahara (1943)

So similar. SO similar to the 1995 version with the same name.

Only here it was actually recorded in the middle of war time, and some of the fireworks that play in the background as they film... they seem pretty real. The ranks overall look pretty real. Everything about this looks real.

Suddenly the Hollywood remake feels tame in comparison. An illusionary revision, with big names but not at all the same sense of danger.

Dialog and accentery might sound strange and outdated, a remnant of the time, and the film quality's dark (and black and white - I should mention), but otherwise it's pretty damn authentic. I'm trying to imagine what this would have looked like if they had filmed it with modern technology way back then. Might've been legendary.

And hey it has Humphrey Bogart too! He wasn't bad. An icon I mostly know only by name. At his prime so long before my era.

In the end this might be one of the most solid black and white action movies I've seen yet. It certainly deserved those remakes, but I wonder if in some areas it doesn't still trump the improvements... technology still doesn't quite stand over realism yet.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

You Should Have Left (2020)

You Should Have Left (2020)

Was Kevin Bacon ever that good an actor? I'm not so sure anymore.

Maybe this movie just wasn't for him. Maybe he's getting old. In a way he fits right in, then moments later he overplays things. But then again maybe he is a good actor because he really feels old in this movie. Just like his character's meant to.

The movie was great though. Like a more ambient variant of House On Haunted Hill, but with a worse ending in that not even the character you're rooting for gets redemption.

It's creepy, sometimes serious, sometimes surprising. The filmography's great - playing with lights and shadows and all the right angles. Get it - right angles? Inside joke.

It ends with goosebumps, and yet it wasn't perfect all the way. The chemistry was good but Kevin looked dazed and confused a bit too often. They rushed some scenes too.

It's a solid scary movie but still a step from perfection. Feels like it barely makes a four but in the end...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Getaway (1994)

The Getaway (1994)

It's a heist movie for the books, this one! I've seen it before, but I didn't remember it being this good. It's one that somehow fell off the radar when it comes to action classics, starring Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger and Michael Madsen, among others. And if there's one phrase you could sum it up with it'd be: no bullshit.

They don't talk around. They don't waste their time. They don't sit and do nothing, or feel sorry for themselves, or get caught up on vengeance - even when they really go through the motions. It's a modern-day (well, nineties, but still) Bonnie & Clyde type movie that's just a little more down to Earth. But still with plenty of grit. Nudity. Violence. Not too much of either.

Madsen almost ruins it a bit with his performance towards the end of it, but those are just brief glimpses of his non-movie personality shining through. Overall it's fantastic. Dusty, charismatic and explosive.

It's the very essence of a getaway, and good action overall.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Fast & Furious - Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Fast & Furious - Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

The factory chase and the helicopter fall. The unsuitable but ever present Transformer sound effects. The withheld love story for the sake of superficial age restriction and equally veiled eye candy in the scenes where such stuff exists to savor. Those are the things I could do without. A select few, but irritating things, that keep blockbuster movies like this from going down as classics, because everything else is just PURE AWESOME.

From the main duo to the villain, to the girl, to Samoa, and everything in between! It's filmed with both class and comedy. It's Fast and Furious with a twist, and a tone of sci-fi that almost borders on Kingsmen or G.I. Joe property.

Not that I mind, because those were awesome too.

I like how it's just non-stop adrenaline from start to finish, yet done the right way.

Maybe the bickering goes a bit far sometimes. Maybe it starts feeling forced as they delve into the second half. Maybe Hattie's expression when Margarita joins in shows a surprising and somewhat unfitting naivete in her otherwise so tough persona - and part of that toughness seems to fade away in the final phase on the film - even if she saves herself. But overall I love it!

It's fast-paced, ferocious fun. I love the truck designs. I love the apocalyptic sci-fi blend. I loved the Kevin Hart cameo maybe most of all. I love Ryan Reynold's always so appreciative in-movie persona too. I love the music. I love the sceneries. I love most of the special effects as well. There's not much here that I don't like, but I think I detailed all of that in the first paragraph.

I'm already looking forward to more of this spin-off blend. Even without Vin Diesel: it works. It's something new, yet it's not all unrecognizable either. They've still got that grit. That gasoline. That life and death race against time grime. And both Statham AND The Rock in the same movie? As the shared lead duo?

Can't wait for the next one. Just hope they don't go too far into special effects or mainstream censorship then.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Trail Of The Pink Panther (1982)

Trail Of The Pink Panther (1982)

The jello scene... I wonder how they did that. The reality gives a theory.

Anyhow, if you ever wanted to learn more about Inspector Clouseau then you might as well start here! Or end here. I'm not sure if this is the last one, or if this is all a new beginning, but it seems to hint at the latter.

It might take a while to get into, but this is slapstick humor at its most eventful. Think Jackie Chan of Europe - not so much stunt work but windows, glass, explosions... it's got it all!

And the dad. Awesome. XD

Doesn't really feel like a complete movie when it's all said and done, it's a strange kind of chase, and interview - a story with the main character missing - much unlike other installments in the series, but you can't say it's not great anyway.

Classic Pink Panther. Can't hate. It's great.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Pokémon - Detective Pikachu (2019)

Pokémon - Detective Pikachu (2019)

I didn't think I'd think this but... I feel too old for Pokemon right now.

Not that there's just too much cuteness - they really took things further than I'd expected with the Mr. Mime and Ditto stuff - but it was so predictable. Even if Ryan Reynolds played a great detective, and an unexpectedly good dad right at the end, the rest of it felt lacking in substance. Tame and untainted.

The special effects were cool and all, and they had a great idea, but when it's all said and done it didn't really capture the magic. Not for my age group, at least. Even the older movies seemed to have more layers.

I'll hope for the next one.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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