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Armed (2018)

Armed (2018)

It's about gun control. It's about a crazy guy. It's about a setup.

It's a both imaginative, feelgood, and dark movie, and it starts in such an everyday way that you're not really prepared for the turns it takes.

After the main character holds an inspiring speech in front of a potential client, who turns out to be a pretty serious gangster: cockroaches start falling from the ceiling, and he accidentally slices the guys ear off... only it's just in his mind.

The pressure amounts. The music starts going crazy. He accidentally nicks the ear instead, the guy gets pissed off, his goons go to attack, and the main character jumps out of the window and gets the hell out of there, and the gangsters give chase!

With such an intro maybe I should have expected something wasn't right. Maybe I should have expected what came later.

But the bisexual, beautiful blue-haired girl, and the paranoid guy from his old group distracted me. I didn't see the big picture.

Then it turns into an abduction drama, and when it's all over I'm both shook, and confused, and relieved, and smiling... such a twist.

I was expecting an action movie like so many others, but this one blew me away, and at the same time it picks up on an important question: the one of arms. The right to bear arms. It doesn't take a side. It just brings up the question, and takes you along for one hell of a ride while it does.

Did I mention it's inspired by true events, too? Totally different events than I pictured when I first heard that. I can say that much.

Props to Mario Van Peebles on playing the best main role I've seen in some time, and beautiful blue-haired girl: you sure helped.

The critics don't give this the praise it deserves.

They say it loses you, but I believe it hinted everything just enough, kept things cryptic, and didn't push the gun control in your face either. It went its own way entirely, and I appreciate that.

The special effects were solid too. Or rather: ethereal. Surreal. Special.

If anything felt forced it may have been the final scenes, but for the most part it was perfect. It was anything but what I was expecting, so much more than I bargained for, and these days: that's rare. This one stands out, and it does so in a good way as far as I'm concerned.

Maybe you'll get a totally different experience if you're prepared for it, but if you happen to have skipped the entire review above and just started reading this: go watch it. Spoilers above. Sorry.

You're better off unprepared.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Bikini Girls V Dinosaurs (2014)

Bikini Girls V Dinosaurs (2014)

Somewhere nowhere near Earth;
outer space is brightly coloured
and a packet of digestive biscuits
will cost you well over £138.

A group of bad guys from the
tyrannical Block Horde Empire
are just itching for a space-battle...

I don't know if someone else wrote the above of if that was me. It was in my draft but it's not on IMDB. Not any longer, at least. It's the premise of the movie in somewhat more creative wording! A premise for a creative, but unfortunately pretty crappy movie.

I wish I could've laughed at it but... it's just too much. Too drawn out. Too much not-much-going-on. Special effects aren't all that special either, but a little B-movie vibe would be OK if there was also a little more build-up. Chemistry. Drama. Fighting. Something a bit more perceptible, you know?

I did get entertained so... props for that. But it's one of those B-movies with more theatrics than actual acting. With focus on expressions rather than events.

Cheers to whomever designed the costumes, and Bikini Girls: not bad.

But the rest of the movie...

 rated 1/5: shit shit shit

G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)

G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)

Before the real-life G.I. movies of the 2010's there was apparently this!

I can't say I like it better than the newer ones - that either plot or animation quality is impressive and worth appreciating, but it does give me some serious nostalgia with the Hanna Barbera-style of animation.

The flashing laser arrays, monstrous character designs, tough guys, and character motions that are both fluent but also so far-separated from the location - there's just no 'weight' to the motion. No gravity. No realistic physics. Is this really the Habba Barbera style...? Maybe there were others.

It wasn't all good, but it was a special style, from a special time.

Gotta love the era, so I can't rate this too low, but if you're looking for something like the newer one you'd best keep waiting for the sequel instead. This might be fun for the nostalgia, but not much more.

 rated 2/5: decent

6-Headed Shark Attack (2018)

6-Headed Shark Attack (2018)

Time for another shark movie, but it's really not a bad one this time - despite the title!

It's about a group of people taken to an island to undergo a form of couples therapy, but it just so happens a horrible experiment has gone wrong on that island, resulting in: The 6-Headed Shark.

So it's got a backstory, and it's got a good main character - it's even got some girls (hey Nikita Faber). It's got beaches and oceans and everything! It's got drama too. Intensity. A sense of desperation, and relational twists along the way.

The only thing it does not have is good special effects, and unfortunately some gigantic limitations there draw down the score. It is what it is.

I know shark movies might not be a particular subgenre where you need realism but... it needs more than this.

Props Brandon Auret on playing a pretty tough-looking main character too, though some scenes... could've used some additional takes. Or a stunt double.

Keep up the work though! Y'all were not bad.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Death At A Funeral (2010)

Death At A Funeral (2010)

You never know what might go wrong at a funeral, but usually things don't go this wrong! In this case it's everything.

Maybe most notably the Valium goes missing - only it's not really Valium, a midget shows up with an unwanted secret, Uncle Russel's in a bad mood, Derek still wants his girl back and Ryan and Aaron just can't get along.

Both intrigue and comedy is set at an early stage.

And the actors are fantastic. Props James Marsden on maybe the best performance of all.

Chris Rock - though he holds a lead role - is probably one of the least funny characters here, but they're all iconic in their own way. If they don't have you laughing out loud they at least have you smiling, or recognizing certain quirks and personality traits you can relate to. It's a big family, and a big set of folks outside the family too.

It's a movie about a funeral, and as such it's all set in a single place, but they really make the most of it! When it's over you wish it never would have ended after all. How the most mundane things are turned into such memorable moments: I'm always impressed when they manage that.

I watched this one a few years back, and a few years before that, and I'll probably watch it again in a few years. It's that good. Like Rat Race or Shaolin Soccer, it's just one of those movies you can keep coming back to.

Props Kevin Hart, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Danny Glover, Keith David, Columbus Short, Regina Hall, all the above and more, who all go above and beyond in this should-be comedy classic. It's not often you get these many awesome peeps in one movie.

I haven't seen the old version of the movie with the same name (there's a dominantly white cast in that one) but I doubt it compares to this. This is just comedy with the perfect kind of crazy, so much of it thanks to James Marsden - but it wouldn't be anything without their chemistry all together.

A funeral may not not seem like the ideal occasion to celebrate life, but in some ways it is, and as the main characters overcome their fears, and trials, and bond during the hardships they face together... it feels like that's what it is about after all. It's what comes after. It's about letting go, and moving on, and celebrating what has been and what will be.

Life after death.

It's not all that contemplative, or complicated - that's just me - but y'all made something amazing with this one, and at the same time you peeled away a layer of negativity surrounding that aforementioned event.

I can see this becoming one of those comedy classics I keep coming back to, again and again - though it's more than just comedy.

I'm just repeating myself at this point. Conclusively, this was, yet again:

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Danger One (2018)

Danger One (2018)

One night, two guys in an ambulance pick up a guy in a car crash, who unfortunately dies in their ambulance, but not before they discover his coat is lined with one million dollars worth of cash.

The first death is unintentional, but as they look at that money, that probably nobody else knows about, they start getting ideas... and as the night progresses there come deaths that aren't all as unintentional.

The Danger One is the ambulance, and the drivers become - in part unwillingly - involved in something so much bigger than themselves.

It turns out some people did know about that money after all, and both keeping it, and keeping it a secret, and keeping alive becomes all the more difficult as the dawn draws near.

It's a movie with somewhat limited scenery, and cast, and not anyone I really know that I know, but they all make a great thing together.

The props feel real, the blood feels real, the setting: a strange kind of comedy and action blend, all blends together well. The occasional budgetary special effect pops up to lower the score a bit, but overall this was a solid one. A different one. An exciting one.

Danger one. They got it done.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

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