New Reviews - Progressing Users

Down to Earth

EvilPhoEniXDown to Earth(2001) 

English Cool stuff. I had a nice time watching this film thanks to the interesting idea and Chris Rock's performance, but I didn't get any big laughing fits, I'll just stick to three. 65%

Good Luck Chuck

EvilPhoEniXGood Luck Chuck(2007) 

English Solid stuff. Dane Cook is a cool and likable guy, the whole film has a good female cast and there is no shortage of excitement. The clumsy Jessica Alba, who drops and bumps into everything, is also a delight. Crazy and wacky and I had a great time. 75%.

Swordsmen

EvilPhoEniXSwordsmen(2011) 

English I had big prejudices about the film (I don't like Wu xia and the long running time and the historical subtext don't make a very appealing impression on me), but hats off, it's a real blast. The film features only four fights, but they are long, with perfect choreography, great camera work, breathtaking visuals and amazing details. I watched with an open mouth seeing how stylishly Peter Chan plays with the camera, giving you a truly spectacular and extraordinary experience thanks also to the brilliant Donnie Yen. Takeshi Kaneshiro was also great in the role of the smart detective, he takes your breath away with his cleverness and subtlety. The dialogue, plot progression and twists are unusually solid for an action film. I enjoyed it 90%.

The Tiger

EvilPhoEniXThe Tiger(2015) 

English This was my dark horse when it comes to blockbusters from Korea, but I can't avoid a slight disappointment. First of all, it's worth writing that this is more a historical drama as well, and it's the story that I consider to be the film's weaker points. On the plus side, the visuals are solid, the snowy landscapes are nice, and the tiger looks very decent, although once it springs into action it is unrealistically fast and big, but that's a detail. There are about two or three major action scenes that have decent punch and are even properly brutal, with the tiger tearing soldiers apart, throwing them against trees – no one stands a chance against it. Lord of the mountain, as it should be. The casting of Min-sik Choi and Man-sik Jeong is also a plus, but it’s the tiger that could the main character, it is only defending its family and territory and you even for it. The scene with the wolves was also interesting, but it wouldn't have hurt to increase the pace and shorten the running time. 65%.

Wild Things

EvilPhoEniXWild Things(1998) 

English A pleasant surprise I only found out about today. The film surprises mainly by its solid subtlety and frequent shocking twists, which are not easy to guess. All this in the presence of a solid cast (Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon), but the two central seductive beauties are also intriguing. The pacing is good, too. Very good. 80%.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

EvilPhoEniXCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny(2016) 

English I wasn't impressed with the first part either, so I'm taking a similar approach to the second. The great thing is that the running time is half an hour shorter, which means less love story, romance, and flying, so everything I hate is rapidly diminished, and there is more action, which is not very impressive and ball-busting, but the choreography is varied with interesting locations and Donnie Yen is simply Donnie Yen, he never disappoints and all his fights are the highlights of the film. If Wu-xia disappeared completely I'd go higher. A fun three stars.65%

Trim Season

EvilPhoEniXTrim Season(2023) 

English Trim Season definitely had the potential to be a decent horror movie. It could have been a solid folk body horror film evoking Suspiria if Ari Aster, Robert Eggers or anyone else more capable had taken over, but the final product is unsatisfying in many ways. The craftsmanship is fine, it doesn't look cheap, there are quite a few characters so I was looking forward to a decent body-count and gore, but no. Once something starts happening, there are a couple of decent scenes, but it's so lacking in horror that even the voodoo games come off as more comical than scary. There was one interesting twist at the end, and that hand being cut off with a shard was quite uncomfortable and painful even for the viewer, but it's not enough. I've seen bigger shit this year, but I still can't pull it up to average. 4/10.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

EvilPhoEniXWinnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2(2024) 

English I skipped the first part due to the terrible reviews, but I gave the second part a chance thanks to the happier reviews and it definitely didn't offend. It's terrible B-movie rubbish with a non-existent plot, unlikeable characters and visuals that are still underwhelming compared to the competition, but it's at least passable. If there's anything worth praising, though, it's the make-up effects (Christopher Robin looks really cool) and the gore. In the final part at the disco the carnage is such that I was very pleasantly surprised. Occasionally they still scare with horrible CGI (fire, acid), but mostly it's practical effects, and the cutting off heads of pretty women was decent. (The hand in the throat is also impressive). You can’t deny the creativity and fan zeal of some of the fatalities, so thumbs up up for that. If you want a trashy slasher with focus on gore where nothing else works, you won't be offended, those with higher standards can skip it. It's a pity that it's taken too seriously, if the film had a lighter vibe, added some wisecracks and hot girls showing their tits, I think the final impression would have been more pleasant, because that's all the people behind it can do. 6/10.

Mind Body Spirit

EvilPhoEniXMind Body Spirit(2023) 

English A found footage version of Hereditary? Nope. Another disappointment and untapped potential this year. The story revolves around a young influencer who tries unsuccessfully to break through practicing Yoga, but soon finds an ancient book left by her grandmother that contains various ancient rituals that she soon becomes obsessed with. There's some nice cinematography (no shaky cam or distracting camera work, there's some above-standard cinematography and nice camera shots), the transformation of the protagonist, who undergoes a significant change over the course of the film, and one spectacular jumpscare, but otherwise weak. Most of the time the film focuses on the least interesting thing, i.e. the influencers, and the horror aspect is thus largely neglected, which is a shame. I quite liked the hallucination scenes where the main character sees a version of herself and one pretty heated argument between the main character and Kenzie, but I would have appreciated that more in a drama than here. Otherwise, unfortunately, not much happens here for the 80 minutes of running time. It's not complete shit, but I don't have much reason to go for average either. 4/10.

Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra

StanislausAsterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra(2002) 

English The change of director is evident from the opening sequence, but I don't think the film suffers because of it. The overall feel of the second Asterix may be wackier and crazier, but it's all the more imaginative for it. Jamel Debbouze was right on, and the graceful Monica Bellucci was more of a model for the designers than Cleopatra, as some of her costumes were truly unforgettable. The film also includes some appropriately used references to American films, or at least it felt that way at times. In short, I enjoyed this episode about as much as the previous one, hence I give it the same rating.

Devil

StanislausDevil(2010) 

English Devil certainly does not lack a dark and mysterious atmosphere, which grows thicker and thicker throughout the film. On the other hand, however, I felt that much more could have been made of it. It could (or should) have been more gripping and intricate - then I might have considered a higher rating. I thought the five were well chosen and the misfits complemented each other well. All in all, a pretty good horror thriller that is shrouded in some mystery, but it's nothing memorable.

The Ambulance

StanislausThe Ambulance(2005) 

English When it comes to the script (or at least the premise), this an imaginative but emotionally flat Danish thriller that at times resembles something Alarm for Cobra 11 – The Highway Police. Two completely different brothers are faced with a difficult choice, and whatever they decide, it won't be without consequences. I quite liked the idea of the in-body camera and the heart shots, as well as the acceptable running time. In short, a film that could have been much better, but it’s still worth watching.

The Night Listener

StanislausThe Night Listener(2006) 

English Another example of a film that brings together excellent actors, but due to a weak script and perhaps also to the direction, it turns out to be a bland thriller that keeps you tense during by revealing promising twists and turns, but in the end, when you are expecting a shocking climax and denouement, it comes as a weak substitute that is barely satisfying. In short, imaginative, appealing in terms of acting, but unfortunately too little punch.

Prague

StanislausPrague(2006) 

English This bitter romantic drama from frosty Denmark, set in Prague, has its pros and cons, and on the whole it is a bland relationship affair dealing with a partnership crisis between two people. Throughout the film, it was impossible not to notice a few nasty references to the Czech capital, like the window instead of the door, goulash on Tuesdays, beer instead of coffee, etc. The Czech actors didn't exactly represent the country in the best light, and it's a good thing that Jana Plodková didn't speak that much English. In short, an average film that has a few good things and shots of Prague, but fades out of your mind a few hours after watching it.

Asterix at the Olympic Games

StanislausAsterix at the Olympic Games(2008) 

English After a long hiatus, another Asterix movie has seen the light of day, but the only thing it has in common with the previous two parts is the actor playing Obelix. Alain Delon has incredible charisma and was perfect as Caesar. Brutus is a great villain, but he's no match for villain of the first installment played by Roberto Benigni. And that's where it ends with the performances, the rest of the cast (including all the over-the-top cameos) were average to below average. The Olympics aren't bad, but the filler around it brings the whole thing down. In short, a somewhat inferior sequel that runs on a bad script and overblown grandeur.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

StanislausHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2(2011) 

English After a decade-long journey, the Potter saga comes to a spectacular conclusion, and having actually grown up on the series, I felt a considerable wave of nostalgia during the closing credits. But why start with the ending! Visually, it's a megalomaniacal orgy that's complemented brilliantly by sound effects and a solid musical score. The acting talents of the central trio are, after all, a bit improved from the previous installments, but what does it matter when the performances of Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Helena Bonham Carter make up for it all. In fact, to sum up the entire second part of the Deathly Hallows, it just felt like an integral part of the first installment, thus at times it felt too flimsy on is own. But that gets lost in the end. Personally, I think this last installment had untapped reserves and could have squeezed more out of it, but as a worthy send-off to one of the greatest franchises of all time, it can be taken quite seriously and is ultimately a satisfying big budget film.

Alien

StanislausAlien(1979) 

English So, I finally watched one of the most famous sci-fi horror films of the last century and I have to admit that I have been deprived for a long time of a perfect piece of filmmaking with an eerie atmosphere that must have caused quite a stir when it was released. In fact, even now, thirty years later, it is a quality piece of filmmaking that many times sends shivers down one's spine, and I personally found myself looking at the screen through my fingers a few times during the film. Sigourney Weaver played the badass Ripley brilliantly and was complemented perfectly by Ian Holm, who incidentally was the centre of an excellent plot. In short, a classic that will surely not succumb to age in the future, as the shots of the spaceship itself or the aliens are breathtaking examples of the great work of the visual effects artists.

Beetlejuice

StanislausBeetlejuice(1988) 

English Tim Burton was still in his directorial development when Beetlejuice was made, and thus the film didn't appeal to me as much as his other later efforts. The film's bleakly colorful atmosphere is captured perfectly and is very much typical of most of Burton's other films. The visual effects were absolutely perfect for their time - especially the likeness of the snake and the worm. The portrayal of the deceased was also flawless, as was Danny Elfman's great score. In short, a film that is imaginative as hell and somewhat funny, and while it's not something memorable, it deserves the 4* from me for the solid technical workmanship and cast.

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