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Mercenary Fighters (1988)

Mercenary Fighters (1988)

Real stunts, real sceneries, fireworks for bullets but fiery explosions too, and some scenes feel particularly dangerous. Landing a plane on a bus, the woman picking up the baby right before the jeep pulls through... there are scenes here that I don't think a movie today would be allowed to have.

It has a laid-back pace initially, but once you start immersing yourself in the struggle... it's pretty serious after all. Less of an all-out action movie than I expected. More an anti-war one with plenty of action scenes.

Feels like the intention with the movie and story goes beyond the action, and that's probably a good thing when it's not the strongest point thereof. The danger feels like a stronger point. Real stunts. Real production hazards, even if the mortality in film doesn't quite carry across.

The acting's nothing to hang up in a Christmas tree or anything, but the stunts... I'm certain some people really got injured filming this. If not they sure make it look authentic. Well maybe not authentic but like they really got hurt while trying to NOT get hurt doing those stunts!

It's a movie with a morale, never mind the inconsistent screaming and warrior mentality. Not bad.

The scenery's special too. The details intrusive and real. Tribal female puberty ritual and all? You don't see movies like this today...

Feels like there's something special about a B-movie with elements of realness that indirectly break the fourth wall. Both with the stunts and as intimate scenes as such. I like this style; all the more real era of film that movies like this seem to be of. A lost age. Them days...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Pulse 2: Afterlife (2008)

Pulse 2: Afterlife (2008)

Did you like Silent Hill? You might like this too. It's different but... similar. The same ashen clouds. The same eeriness. The ghosts and all. The open stalls.

It's not perfect but it is hella spooky, with a naked woman and style reminiscent of It Follows, sometimes, and a plot that somewhat reminds me of The Cell. It also seems like there's potential for a sequel, since characters interacted with here don't all disappear.

There may be a solution in sight.

I wonder if the man in red is a reoccurring character from the last one - never did see the first one.

There's no happy ending, it's not a happy movie, but it's one with a fascinating level of effects and general spookiness. Curtains torn that are whole again. A house that's cleaned that's dirty again. A ghost that tries to live yet doesn't realize she's but a ghost. There's a lot of that. And then there's love. There are both the malevolent, and there are those.

If there is a third I need to see it, since nobody's really dead or alive here maybe there's still hope for the dead, and for the living too...

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Hundra (1983)

Hundra (1983)

Swans were definitely harmed in the making of this one! What a barbaric intro. But authentic, definitely... the story starts in a village of warrior women - living in peace in an all but peaceful time, that is one day massacred by men.

There's just one survivor. A warrior woman a level above the rest of them, who just so happened to be on the hunt when the attackers pillage the village. Hundra.

When she returns and sees the death and destruction she first hunts down the remaining attackers, and kills them all. Then she seeks council with an aged master, a hermit living away from the tribe. Female, too. And this master tells her to find a man, so that their clan may live on, and she get a heir that can take after her.

Hundra has no interest - and little experience with men - but you can guess where it's going now no?

It starts so well, but ends so cliché. It starts with desperation. The first attack is brutal - even if that's more so for animals than humans, but the fight scenes become worse for wear too. Hundra looks good, but can she fight? Not really. Not like the village women in that first scene.

Though it may be subpar I did enjoy this movie. And it was a good message. On seeds and all.

Maybe inspired by Conan the Barbarian, with a twist to female empowerment? That one came the year before after all.

Also wonder if her name's inspired by Attila the Hun... or something else. In Swedish it means hundred.

May her clan last for as many years as so! May they procreate and grow.

Not the most gripping or greatly acted always but: good movie.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Flash Point (2007)

Flash Point (2007)

AKA Dou Foh Sin.

Now this is one hell of an action movie. Can't nobody say otherwise. Donnie Yen in his prime. Collin Chou in his too. With a hospital chase to remember, a final showdown in the green fields by the river, an all out brawl in a little concrete abode, and just a plain spectacular - and at times a little tragic - cops and robbers movie a la HK/martial artist style.

It feels both authentic and flashy beyond it, which seems a rare combo. How can it be both? And how can they really make the fights look this good; the intrigue and chase all so intense? It's a gem. Not too long. Hella dense. HK action with cops and all, it's one of the best I've gotta scrawl.

That's all friends.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Ambush (2023)

Ambush (2023)

Vietam, 1966. Soldiers and tunnels. Reminds me a bit of Tunnel Rats, but less glorified.

In the end... is it just about justifying the sacrifice? About making the warrior feel better about his dead friends? That they did everything they did for nothing, when they could just as well have blown up the tunnels and all lived to see another day - theoretically?

The end seems disappointing, even if the words are poetic, and the greenhorn soldier growing up at the cost of life... what's the use in that?

It's a movie dedicated to the 58,000 Americans who died during the Vietnam war. But for what. If it's for something like this it doesn't seem worthwhile at all. If the movie attempts to make their fight seem like the finest form of patriotism they do a bad job. And if that's not what they made it for then for what? The war's over. Why add further burn and sorrow.

The action's not, and early on the soundtrack's inspiring - so much dissonance, but we lose that along the way, with the motive; with the war.

It looks good but it's no Hamburger Hill. It's a slaughter without reason, where 'without reason' seems an attempt at making it have one. There's just something really... missing, with this.

 rated 3/5: not bad

As Good As It Gets (1997)

As Good As It Gets (1997)

A single mother and waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is assaulted in a robbery.

Though Jack Nicholson always seem to become the creep of creeps in his roles... this is such a feelgood movie! An unconventional love movie, about a lonely mother and a renowned author with... certain social issues and elements of OCD - though I do feel like there oughta have been more than the soap stockpile to show for this in his apartment. His behavioral quirks don't always go all the way - and during the latter part of the movie that makes sense - when love hits him and throws him off course a bit, but initially. Could've had more of that.

He starts off not the most likable person, but when his queer (as he calls him) neighbor's dog ends up in his house after said neighbor's been brutally assaulted by the friends of a guy he was trying to paint (loose end there too - though maybe it just makes things all the more authentic)... well things start changing. He finds kindness. He starts to bond.

The dog's diet post veterinarian visit's a lose end too btw. Don't think all that cake was good for him.

Anyway it's a feelgood movie. No frills. Good acting. Real people.

It's not the type of movie I expected to get into this much but... it's pretty special. Refreshingly real and uncompromising, and I'm pretty sure I've heard that 'queer party friends' sample used in some serious musical bop.

Great watch.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

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