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What Happened To Monday (2017)

What Happened To Monday (2017)

In an overpopulated future, seven identical sisters named after the days of the week spend one day each outside, striving to survive in a world where siblings aren't allowed.

The weeks go. The years go. Time goes and they grow up, learning the hard way how they must live, and then Monday disappears.

The next day Tuesday disappears. One by one the days go out, and what started as a mystery soon turns into a panic, a search for clues, and Monday, as they fight to make it just one more day.

It's a sad story, and scary in how close to reality it could be, but I'm not convinced with Noomi Rapace's acting. She does as good a job as anyone could playing seven different people I suppose, but maybe the emotions don't always come across as well as they could when she's facing open air - either constantly playing against herself or a double, and moving between roles in each scene.

Don't get me wrong: it was a great movie, and I doubt anyone else would've been much better. Seven might just be a bit much, and the filming might have been a bit too direct as to make sure you really face each one of them head-on; see their differences.

It's a clever sci-fi scenario that doesn't reveal things too fast, and the many deaths are a refreshingly sad break in an otherwise predictable ascendance. Willem Dafoe is great as always too. As are the rest.

I hope the future won't be anything like this, but the way we're living maybe this could wake some of us up. I hope it does, because problems don't solve themselves. Either we intervene or someone else will.

And that might not be much fun for anyone.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

I Am Wrath (2016)

I Am Wrath (2016)

John Travolta makes a pretty good tough guy! We've seen that in From Paris With Love already, but this Travolta: he's a bit different. It feels like he tries to play ordinary, yet doesn't quite make the cut. He is good, but Christopher Meloni does it even better, although he's not ordinary at all. Reminds a bit of that one guy in the Walking Dead, come to think of it...

The story is that of vengeance, and though I feel there are plenty of authenticity hiccups, too strong a father-daughter bond even after all he puts them through, too little processing of the grief, too little wrath considering the title, and too many moments of being held at gunpoint and turning things around - it's not bad. The action's solid. The cast is commendable. The storyline's straight-forward and easy to follow - though some would say that's a bad thing.

Being able to sum up the movie as simply as: A man is out for justice after a group of corrupt police officers are unable to catch his wife's killer, might say something about what type of movie it is. The type with an under-developed script. And Travolta's character just happening to be a former special ops guy is a fortunate coincidence, as is his very helpful but very underappreciated friend.

I appreciate the little details that make this movie different from other movies like it, like how the good guys aren't ever really caught off guard even when they are, but at the same time it takes away the tension. At the end, when they're waltzing out of the hospital with ease, it's almost like comedy.

Whatever happened to the main character's profound sadness? Is he going to get rid of the tattoo now - or is he a man with a new mission? And couldn't it have ended with less cliche than a postcard? I'm not even going to hide these spoilers here. You'll expect them.

On the one hand I really liked this movie, but on the other I'm disappointed. If I summed it up with one line it'd be: just another action movie about revenge. And also one that for some reason makes me think of GTA. Some of the characters, maybe. The way they talk. It feels familiar, and that's not bad. Maybe it weighs over some of the disappointment.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Skyscraper (1996)

Skyscraper (1996)

Maybe the old and new movie with the same title don't have anything to do with each other after all - apart from both taking place in a fortified high-tech skyscraper within which a group of killers wreck havoc, this time with unknown purpose... but this time it's also an erotic thriller - sort of, and though Anna Nicole Smith looks great you wouldn't say she's a very convincing actress.

Nor are the other tough guys - or her husband - though they look good too. Most of them. I think I recognize a couple...

The script's not particularly deep, but the helicopter pilot role was new, and there are some intimate scenes so it's not all bad. The action's pretty explosive - though messy and half-assed, with bullets rarely hitting their targets, and goofs such as one fall onto the hood of a car clearly being filmed in at least two different takes don't really raise your sense of immersion in the movie.

It's almost like that old, B-movie style action of the eighties though, a decade past it's time, and I don't mind. It was a blast, albeit with bad budget, quality, and a busty bimbo in the main role that impresses with little else than her looks.

Anna's a tragic story though, if you didn't know. She overdosed on drugs in 2007 - barely a year after her only son did the same. On her drugs. Her first marriage ended with her (90-year old) husband dying within a year after their vows, and the second ended with a divorce. She didn't have a lot of movie roles, which isn't strange, so best appreciate the few she did.

Maybe the big mistake they did here was trying to play on the Die Hard franchise - since it's a degrading difference if you compare the two. For what it's worth it did it's job. Looked good. Entertained. It was alright.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Skyscraper (2018)

Skyscraper (2018)

What happens when Dwayne The Rock Johnson is locked in a skyscraper - the biggest the world has ever seen, its own miniature horizontal world with herbarium and all - with a bunch of terrorists threatening to kill his family?

It doesn't matter that he's got a peg leg, and never mind he's not in the tower at all in the first place but has to climb like a hundred stories on a crane and then jump a hundred feet to get there (they don't start threatening until he's inside anyway): you know how this is going to go.

It's a pretty intense movie, with quite a few gravity-defying scenes, impressive architecture, lots of tough guys and solid action sequences. Especially the first few.

The Rock's in good shape, older-looking as he may be, and he soon turns from fugitive to hero as the people of Hong Kong follow his daredevil escapades around the building from monitors far below.

I like Neve Campbell's act too. Their chemistry's good. Chin Han plays a convincing magnate as well, and it's good to see a few familiar HK faces too, even if some aren't as familiar as I thought they were! Really though Michelle Yeoh was there. She's got a look-alike!

Unfortunately the special effects aren't always the richest in detail, and script-twise a lot of it is really predictable. You know how it'll go. It's a blockbuster. It's a... what-do-you-call-the-movie-type-when-a-building's-on-fire-and-they-have-to-get-out? It's nothing new, but it's definitely the most modern take so far, and it kept the tension levels high from start to finish. Good set of villains too. Props Roland Møller in particular.

I think there's an old movie with this same title, and I'm thinking I just might watch that one next...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)

This movie was awesome. Pure awesome. It starts with a boy, a fat little boy, who comes from the city and a life of crime and solitude to an aunt and uncle (who aren't really his aunt and uncle - but they become pretty close) out on a farm, out in the bush, out in... Australia?

The sceneries are fantastic, the story-telling is imaginative, there's music amidst the sights, and somber times amidst the comedy, and everything's divided up in chapters. What I'm saying is it's refreshingly different, and flows in such a good way! Well-composed, scripted, and enacted and all.

I'm not sure everyone will have as much fun with this as me and my buddy did - it's as brutal as it's fun sometimes, in a way similar to (but not as gory or intentionally violent as) the crazy but equally comical Tucker and Dale VS Evil. Gotta rewatch that unforgettable horror story some time too.

They occasionally zoom in with the camera like they did with old Kung Fu movies here. It has the traits of B-movies of old, and not that large a cast, but still impressive continuity and quality. It tells the tale so well. It's a flurry of emotion, character bonding, and small twists and events that both give you a lump in your throat and make you crack a smile at the same time. It's that kind of movie. Impeccably creative, well-paced, versed and contemplative, in a simple way.

The story? Together with his uncle this little fat boy ventures out into the bush, in an attempt to escape the authorities after he burns down their barn and fakes his own death, but things don't go as planned and one thing leads to another... and they have the adventure of their lives.

The title makes sense as it goes along too, as does everything else. It all makes sense. I'm pleasantly surprised at how it all turns out. I'm pondering a four due to certain moments of disappointing simplicity, expected character traits, and end, but I think I'll really remember those special moments too. It's all in the moments.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

More Shoujo Manga!

Despite my vanity, and fear for my sanity, I've been reading even more of this stuff.

I wrote about the first few books I stumbled upon here - noting that they weren't all that different from 'normal' manga after all, so I guess I'll do the same with these new ones. Just know that this post will be delving even further into the 'shoujo' of shoujo... that makes no sense, but, you know: even girlier stuff than last time.

That I've read these at all is thanks to my sister getting hold of a pile of them. I wouldn't buy these myself, voluntarily, but since they were all so easily accessible already I might as well give them a glance... right?

Kare - First Love

This is the story of Karin, and Aoi, who meet in school, and get together, and break up, and argue, and yet they both love each other so they nourish their relationship and slowly it grows stronger and stronger - despite the many obstacles that get in their way, like school, and work, and evil parents.

It's a very typical love story, cheesy and prone to emotion, with the boyfriend always supportive and the girl always in need of supporting, often drawing the wrong conclusions, being too quick too judge and further complicating what could've been just a happy and simple relationship! All of this makes for the occasional groan, but also dare I admit pretty exciting reading, and it's always nice when things go well. When they finally overcome each crisis.

There's some comedy, and some awkward moments, and overall just a lot of relationship drama. I guess it was good though, because I read all the books... ten of them, minus three somewhere in the middle that weren't included in the aforementioned set of books. It's not a series I'll be adding to my collection, but yeah... it was alright. The drawing style's clean and refined too. Good read.

Mamotte Lollipop!

I only have one of these... fortunately. It's a sort-of love story involving one girl, and two guys, at a school, and a bunch of rivals and such, and a rich little girl with her own servant (who is five years old - the girl I mean - not sure about the servant).

It's all drawn in chibi style, super-cute and happy, and details the ups and downs of school and girl and boy stuff and honestly... I still haven't read all the way through this one. I'm having a hard time with the style. The art. The mood. The fact that there's a girl there that's just five years old but has breasts as big as any one of the other girls... of which ages aren't yet detailed. Middle school age? It seems kinda weird.

So far it's sort of fun. There are comical moments, but a lot of groans too.

I really don't think this'll go into my favorite. It's really not my style, love story or no (not that love stories are my style). Too dynamic? Too young? Too happy? Too much of some of that stuff.

Edit: I have read through it now, and it was alright, but I don't think I'll be reading more of this one...

Doors Of Chaos

Now here's one that's none of the above! Not too young, and definitely not too happy either. Similar to the vampire manga in the previous post this one quickly takes a twist for a darker; more somber story. It features more sensual female characters in the main roles, male protagonist/antagonists more in control, and tells the story of two sisters who were born to guard the keys to four other worlds. They have special powers too. I just read the first book of this series, but so far: tense. Hope to find more.

The artist has a very distinct style too. Very sharp eyes. Detailed features. Elaborate and grotesque monsters, clothes and sceneries. It's a fascinating art style, and a theme that almost borders on horror. Not the kind of Shoujo I expected! Actually I wonder if this is Shoujo at all...

Love Hina

I've read this one before. I've read bits, at least, of the first chapters in a manga magazine (Manga Mania) that a good buddy was subscribed too. I loved it back then, and I still do! It's more Shounen than Shoujo though - telling the story from a clumsy guy perspective instead of that of an overattentive girl, and you know what? It does work better! Even if the main character slaves away for those girls day after day, things never go his way, and he's constantly misunderstood and bullied... I relate? It's actually kind of sad. But at the same time everything that happens is just hilarious.

The story? Keitaro, kicked out by his parents as a hopeless Ronin (one who's trying and failing to get into university), goes to his aunt's hotel (she owns a hotel) to live there while he continues his studies, only to discover that it's been turned into an all girl's dorm! He discovers this whilst taking a bath in the hot spring... when a near-sighted girl walks in on him.

Hilarity ensues. As well as immense awkwardness and shame.

It turns out the girl is a girl from his childhood! A special one. The one and only. It takes the reader barely a chapter to figure this out, but it takes them the whole duration of the series, which is... I don't know how many books, but the anime was either 12 or 24 episodes. I think. The comedy's crazy, and it's emotional in a good way. Definitely recommended.

Hope to get my hands on the remaining manga some day too. It might be better than the anime.

Wild Rock

Yaoi manga? This one was in that pile I was given but you know what? I think I'll pass. Feels like there's a certain line here I don't want to cross.

It did have a cool cover though. If I didn't know it was Yaoi...

So that's what I've been reading lately, though I do have a pile of Dragon Ball and Detective Conan I still haven't started with. Maybe after summer next year. Until then... who knows, Christmas is coming up and this kind of manga seems to be the kind my sister occasionally stashes up on. Maybe there'll be more to come.

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