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I'm impressed!
Since I'm not a big comedy fan, 'Goosebumps' was never high up on my list of movies to see. Also because I'm not a Jack Black fan, and the trailer made the film look like a slapstick comedy. However, I am a big fan of fantasy films, so decided to give 'Goosebumps' the benefit of the doubt.

I must confess to being pleasantly surprised. This was not slapstick as the trailer made me belief. On the contrary, there were actually some really funny moments. There were awesome action sequences, great cinematography and wonderful visuals, all of which overshadowed the few slapstick moments it dished up.

I must also admit to actually liking Jack Black here. The role of RL Stine suited him perfectly. Dylan Minnette was really good as Zach, the film's protagonist. Thanks to his performance, the film has more seriousness than it probably ought to have. He grounded the film in a way, and was a very likable hero.

With regards to the Hannah character (wonderfully portrayed by Odeya Rush), she lent a much deeper back story to an otherwise fantastical story. Her character had twists I never anticipated. The romance in the film is also quite sweet, and didn't feel forced or annoying - which so often happens to be the case with Hollywood films.

From the film's very beginning, it is mysterious and mystical, and quickly spins out of control. I thoroughly enjoyed the myriad of monster characters (the werewolf was my favorite!) This was a rollercoaster ride of fun and excitement. Much better than expected!

The Golem

Not a bad film, but not for me.
Although 'The Golem' is a well made movie with good performances, I somehow just couldn't relate to the film. I found it a bit slow and not all that interesting.

Religion and religious beliefs plays a big part in the film, and in that regard I also didn't really connect. There are some creepy moments but ultimately the film didn't capture my full attention. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad film. For various reasons it just didn't satisfy my senses...

Passenger 57

Great 90's action thriller.
Wesley Snipes starred in a string of enjoyable action films in the 90's. 'Passenger 57' is one such a film - probably one of my favorites of his 90's action films. I'm a sucker for airplane movies!

Despite numerous improbabilities and credibility issues, 'Passenger 57' is an entertaining watch, containing action, suspense, and subtle humor that's actually funny and not slapstick or out of place.

Snipes is in peak form, and a likable hero, while Bruce Payne was really good - and creepy in a way - as antagonist Charles Rane. The characters are well set-up and the suspense intensifies as the story unfolds. So does the action. And what I love about older action films - or any film in general - is the fact that they used practical effects instead of CGI. It made the film feel more realistic, and hooked the viewer hook, line and sinker!

This rather exciting action thriller was better than expected, with a great finale. Loved it!

King Solomon's Mines

Dreadful! Just dreadful!
I'm going to be very blunt here: I hated 'King Solomon's Mines'. As much as I like Richard Chamberlain, even he couldn't save this atrocious film!

This 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' vs 'High Road to China' wannabe fails on every level. From the terrible acting to the 'what the hell' script, this was totally stupid and completely unbelievable. There's action and adventure from the very beginning, but with so much stupidity it didn't really matter.

I found 'King Solomon's Mines' almost unwatchable. (In fact, it was!!). I literally didn't enjoy a single scene and was tempted to hit the stop/eject button with every frame. Unconvincing acting. Amateurish dialogue. Very bad visuals. Very, very bad script. Dreadful humor and one-liners. This was one of the most annoying films I've had to endure. I never want to see this again. I have absolutely nothing positive to say about this film.


Very little action; too much talk.
It's a sad fact sequels rarely live up to their predecessors. 'Attraction 2: Invasion' is no exception.

Fedor Bondarchuk returns as director, and most of the original cast is back, as well. When a sci-fi film is called 'Invasion', I immediately envision action, space ships, and attacks on Planet Earth. 'Attraction 2' lacks in all these departments. In fact, for an alien sci-fi movie, there's very little action.

'Attraction' was a standout film with regards to a great story, good acting and visuals, and it was magical, touching and heartfelt. The visuals in this sequel is not as good (although not bad either). It appears - as CGI becomes cheaper and easier accessible - directors rely too much on the use of CGI when practical effects could have been used. I also get the feeling they don't apply CGI as thoroughly as before because they're very aware of the fact viewers know CGI is being used and doesn't really care anymore.

There was a lot of talk in the film. The magic between Yulya and Hakon is gone, although it still is a love story. I loved Artyom in 'Attraction', but he doesn't really contribute much here. They once again put him in an alien suit, but there's no real payoff. It's not nearly as effective as the first film. There was very little here that blew me away like the first film did.

In general, I just don't believe 'Attraction 2: Invasion' will have such a wide appeal as the original did.

The Hurricane Heist

Rather watch Hard Rain...
Despite the many negative reviews from critics, I decided to give the film the benefit of the doubt because the trailer looked good. It's no secret that I generally disagree with critics.

This was rather entertaining and not all that bad, I initially thought. Don't take it too seriously and you'll enjoy it, I convinced myself. I managed doing that for the first half of the movie. However, as the action unfolded and the film progressed, things got out of hand - and unbelievable - and I started agreeing with the negative reviews.

The acting wasn't all that convincing. (Especially Ben Cross, who's performance was so bad, you'd think he was in a comedy). It's a fact, 'Hurricane Heist' was never intended to be as accurate as 'Twister'. This is a heist movie that happens to take place during a hurricane. However, as the story unfolded, it appears the hurricane was part of their plan all along. Yet, the weather guys never anticipated the storm to be this intense, so why did the guys planning the heist believe it would be? There's just so many flaws and credibility issues here.

Then there's the visuals, which looked dated at best. And the lighting also wasn't the greatest. There were moments when characters found themselves in a storm setting, yet he lighting was so obvious studio lighting. Unlike films like 'Twister' and 'Into the Storm', I didn't believe the characters to be in danger, and therefore didn't find the film suspenseful regardless of how badly the storm raged.

There were similarities to films like 'Twister', 'Into the Storm', 'Hard Rain', and a myriad of heist movies. The film's climax is just completely unbelievable and - dare I say - rather silly, actually.

Needless to say, 'Hurricane Heist' flopped at the box office.

Would I watch it again? No.


One of the best action thrillers.
'Taken' is one of those rare films that has it all: a very good cast, a great premise, fantastic action sequences, and nail-biting suspense.

Hail to director Pierre Morel for creating this action masterpiece. The story is believable and relatable, and the acting is top-notch, especially Liam Neeson as a no-holds-barred father, Bryan Mills, on a mission to save his daughter from the grips of a human trafficking syndicate - no matter the obstacles. Bryan Mills might just be one of the greatest vengeance-fueled characters ever created. I loved the fact he showed no mercy to the heartless criminals.

The film completely sucks you in as we follow Bryan's investigative skills, uncovering more than he bargained for, endangering his own life in the process. This is an interesting script with good character set-up, and impeccable attention to detail.

'Taken' is a simple straight-forward, uncomplicated story and is easy to follow and digest. The action sequences are fast-paced, hard-hitting and incredibly well done. This is an action thriller that will go down in film history as a classic!

All the Devil's Men

Good, but too complex to be memorable.
'All the Devil's Men' is a film I don't want to, but probably will forget very soon.

Milo Gibson is excellent as the film's hero, Jack Collins. When Jack is betrayed during a mission to stop a gangster from obtaining a warhead, he takes matters into his own hands because it has just become a personal matter. I rooted for Jack from the very moment I noticed him taking medication. It showed his vulnerability, and it was a very realistic character.

The cast delivered very good, believable performances. I did find the story very complex, though, and this might be one of the main reasons why I won't remember the film as much as I'd like to. There was also way too much swearing.

I enjoyed the fact there was no distracting, cliched love interest. I also respect the film makers for using practical effects instead of CGI, and shooting on location. This makes a huge difference (for me) in a film. Some of the action sequences were really good.

Milo Gibson was so good as Jack. He is incredibly sexy and close-up shots of him was to me like waving candy to a kid. At least - if I don't remember the film - I will remember him...

Child's Play 2

A Classic in its own right!
With very little experience as director, John Lafia took over the reigns as director on 'Child's Play 2', and he didn't disappoint.

While the original 'Child's Play' is an absolute classic, I'm still deciding whether 'Child's Play 2' is actually better, which is rare for a sequel. I just loved everything about this film. 'Child's Play 2' follows directly on 'Child's Play', and Alex Vincent is back as Andy. Brad Douriff is also back as the voice of Chucky (lets face it, Chucky just wouldn't be Chucky without Brad Douriff!!).

Chucky is creepy as ever, and the personification of true evil. By now we already know what to expect from Chucky, and its frightening. He will stop at nothing to transfer his soul to Andy, the first person he revealed his true identity to. And although he doesn't want to, his options are limited and he is not in the least overjoyed at the prospect of being a kid again.

We've seen our fare share of doll movies over the years, but Chucky is still by far the best - and most disturbing - doll creation ever (in my opinion). 'Child's Play 2' features very good acting, compelling characters, good photography, and great prosthetics. I really enjoyed Kyle (Christine Elise), who is a strong, independent character.

The film builds to a roller coaster ride finale - even more heart pounding than the climax in the original film. This is entertainment, and a fantastic entry in the series, and horror genre in general. I loved it!

Ayla: The Daughter of War

Beautiful, touching, inspirational.
I admit, 'Ayla: The Daughter of War' is not entirely what I expected. Part of me expected a war movie in the veins of 'Warsaw 44'. However, 'Ayla' is far more emotional, and not so much about war, but rather about humanitarian response to war situations. In this regard, it was truly exceptional.

If the little girl doesn't steal your heart, nothing will. If Suleyman doesn't win you over as a caring individual and father figure, chances are nothing will. Ismail Hacioglu was fantastic as Suleyman, a character I really cared about and rooted for. 'Ayla' is a beautiful, touching and heart wrenching story. The film revolves around Turkish soldiers being sent to Korea, who encounter a young girl - as the only survivor - during one of their field missions. What follows next is a beautiful story among the horrors of war.

Based on fact, this is an incredibly inspirational story. The film reminded me - to a certain extent - of the Chinese film 'Aftershock' and the Korean film 'Ode to my Father' - both exceptional films in its own right.

'Ayla' is by far one of the most endearing war films you will ever see. Despite the dramatic element, the film also delivers some very effective comedic moments. 'Ayla' is a one of a kind war film, but might not satisfy everyone's taste in a war movie.

The Fly II

Not even half as good as the original...
'The Fly 2' follows directly on 'The Fly'. The saga continues with Brundle's son, Martin (Eric Stoltz), who is a test subject at a scientific institution. Everything that made the original film so memorable, is absent here. The acting isn't all that good, and the make-up effects are not even half as good as the original. The story itself is not nearly as interesting, with characters I mostly didn't care about.

The love story - especially the sex - was inappropriate in the context of the film. Keep in mind - although Martin has the appearance of a grown-up - he is still just a child. Why they insisted on adding a love interest, is beyond comprehension. The film would have worked much better without it.

The dog scene is probably the film's most memorable moment. Any dog lover will find it very difficult to watch. In general, there really was no need for a sequel. It was sure to be a sense of deja vu. Even so, it might have worked with a better script. The film did nothing for my senses.

Would I watch it again? No.

Train to Busan 2

Oh NO...!!
Although I'm generally not in favor of sequels, I was really looking forward to this 'Train to Busan' sequel. Unfortunately, 'Peninsula' is not what I was hoping for.

Where do I even begin with how disappointed I am with this film? Firstly, the most obvious: the CGI. Oh, my goodness, the CGI is so bad, and its all over the place. It looked as if the entire film was shot in a studio, with everything else being added in post-production. Of the many car chase scenes in the film, not a single scene utilized practical effects. Instead, they opted for (terrible!) CGI. The film therefore lost every inch of realism, ultimately looking like a video game. (I do hope this is not the future of film making...)

Secondly, the premise and the characters. Someone watched way too many American films and attempted to make a Korean film Hollywood style, with cliched annoying characters and situations. In fact, the characters were so uninteresting that I didn't care about any of them (no, not even the lead), and I actually found myself hitting the forward button when some of these annoying characters were on screen. There are also way too many comedic moments that completely ruins the suspense of the film. Come to think of it, there were no suspense whatsoever...

Thirdly, the zombies. This is supposed to be a zombie film, yet the zombies are merely along for the ride - a sideshow, if you will. The film is slow moving with very little revolving around the zombies. 'Peninsula' is essentially a crime thriller, with zombies thrown in the mix. There's so little originality here (almost everything is copied from American crime films we've seen over the years). The film also lacks emotional depth, which was so prominent and effective in 'Train to Busan'. They did attempt emotion towards the end, but since I didn't care about the characters, it didn't matter and I was sitting there thinking "oh, just get on with it...".

I tried enjoying this as a standalone film, but alas, there was little here I enjoyed. The CGI and lack of practical effects - when it easily could have been used - completely ruined the film, as if the premise itself wasn't enough cause to raise an eyebrow or two...

On - drakon

Wow! How many adjectives may I use to describe how STUNNING this was?

From the fantastic visuals, to the beautiful score and interesting story, 'I am Dragon' was a magical and fantastical journey of pure delight. I enjoyed every moment. As an added bonus there's great shots of Matvey Lykov's perfect body.

If you enjoy magic, dragons, fantasy and a beautiful love story, 'I am Dragon' is the perfect choice. It is a very unusual love story, but an amazing one at that. The film is captivating and sucks you in like a magnet, constantly rooting for the characters and wanting to know what will happen next. This is an instant favorite, and a film I'll watch again and again. Stunning!

Into the Blue

Not perfect, but enjoyable.
'Into the Blue' lures its viewers with beautiful photography, close-up shots of perfect bodies, and great locations.

Does these elements deem it a great film? No, it doesn't. Yet, I wonder how many times I've watched this. There certainly is something alluring about 'Into the Blue', and its not just the eye candy. The acting is good, except maybe for Jessica Alba, who is not always believable and portrayed the character I least cared about.

The character actions were more then just a bit questionable, and there were a few credibility issues. The call to adventure is the draw card for me. I loved the treasure hunt theme, the underwater shots, the suspense and action that followed, and yes, the beautiful bodies... *add dreamy face here*...

Although the film is slow moving and takes its time before accelerating to full throttle, I never really found it boring. I enjoyed the characters, and the setting. There's also a few unexpected turns and twists. It might not be the perfect adventure thriller, but it certainly is an enjoyable one with beautiful scenery... nature and otherwise...

Black Beauty

Good in its own right.
I absolutely love horses, yet 'Black Beauty' is a film I don't think I'd have missed if I haven't seen it. Yes, it is a very good film , a well made film, and there really is no reason for me not to like it.

Still, it didn't have quite the impact on me films like 'War Horse' or 'Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron' had on me, and I'd much rather watch these films again, and again, and again. 'Black Beauty' is the story of a horse - narrated by a horse - who changes owners a few times, and has different adventures. I found the score annoying at times - reminiscent of a Disney kids cartoon. Speaking of which, the film also felt more aimed at a young demographic, where adults are merely along for the ride on a family movie night.

Horses are such beautiful creatures. Some people just don't have enough respect for animals, and in this sense the film was very emotional at times. For the love of animals I'll probably give this film a higher rating than I would have.

Would I watch it again? I don't think so.

Bitva za Sevastopol

Good, but not what I expected.
'Battle for Sevastopol' is not what I expected. I suppose the mood you're in when watching the film will determine whether you like it or not. From a war movie perspective I was disappointed. The film has too much talk and too little action for a war movie. During the third act, it becomes more of a love story than an action war film.

From an emotional perspective, though, this was incredible, as it chronicles the life of a woman who had a military upbringing - to a certain extent - thanks to her dad. It was expected of her to join the army and she excelled. Despite being a sniper, she is an ordinary woman with feelings, emotions and love. She gets hurt and emotional when those around her perish.

For the Russians, she was a war hero. For the Germans, she was a villain. From a neutral perspective, its rather disconcerting calling a sniper a hero. In the end, every war hero is a nothing more than a cold blooded killer in a way - thanks to men in suits in offices declaring war. Here, the Germans are the bad guys, but in every war there are two sides to the story, and ultimately all soldiers really are just ordinary guys.

'Battle for Sevastopol' is a well made film. It is a bit slow moving and somehow a female lead in a war movie just doesn't work for me. It's not the type of war movie I'd watch again and again, but I enjoyed it as a once off watch.

Outpost: Black Sun

Don't think I'm going to remember this...
I fear 'Outpost: Black Sun' to be a forgettable film. Mainly due to the story being so complicated.

The film features darn good acting, especially Catherine Steadman as Lena, the rose among the thorns. She was a nice, strong character among all the soldiers. Lena encounters more than just a few obstacles in her investigation, and leads us back to the bunker where things went haywire in 'The Outpost'.

The zombies act like normal thinking human beings, which removed some of the terror (for me). There are a number of very effective jump scares, so be warned. The finale became more involved that it should have been. I enjoyed the first film for its simplicity. Nevertheless, as a standalone film, this is not bad at all. As a sequel, I definitely prefer the original.

Would I watch it again? I somehow don't think so.

Fright Night Part 2

Ugh, just no!
Yup, Charlye Brewster and Peter Vincent are back. So are William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall in their respective roles. Unfortunately, however, everything that made the original such a classic, is absent here.

The film continues where the first 'Fright Night' left off. Charley does the stupidest things because of a woman he barely knows. Nothing is believable and the slapstick humor also ruins every inch of seriousness there might have been. Considering what Peter went through with Charley, why wouldn't he believe him when being told there are vampires again. He even says "this sort of thing only happens once...". But why? Since it's been established vampires are among us, why couldn't it happen again? In fact, it would be very likely, so his character is not credible. And then later, Charley says "there's no such thing as vampires". After what he experienced??!!

There's way too many unbelievable coincidences here. The dialogue is stupid, as are the character actions. And they even attempted to imitate the dance scene that was so memorable in the original. Pffff!! To no avail. The visual effects and creature designs are also not nearly as effective.

Cat's Eye

Seriously? King must have had writer's block...
Although the logline says three tales are linked by a cat, this is in fact not true. There is no link. The cat simply walks out of a segment and into the next, but it could have been any cat. There's nothing significant about the cat.

Interesting, note how the dog in the beginning of the movie looks exactly like the rabid dog in 'Cujo', almost as if it was shot at the same time. (Same director, as well...). The first segment is an absurd idea about quitting smoking. Oh, c'mon, this was total crap, about a guy going to a company to help him stop smoking. This company, however, is so sadistic and evil, nothing they do is legal or believable. There was nothing interesting here for me - especially as a non-smoker.

The second segment is mainly about a guy walking on a ledge. There's nothing interesting here either. There's a bit of a back story, but it literally is about a guy walking around a building on a ledge. It's stupid. What the hell were you thinking, Mr King, writer's block??

The third segment was the best, but its not really saying much. The cat plays the biggest part here, as it protects a little girl from a troll visiting her at night. Oh, whatever...

Would I watch it again? No.


What the bloody hell...??
So, this is the future of movie making. Location: studio. Everything else added in post-production via CGI. Whoopee, exciting... *add sad face here*...

Much of the film's dialogue was beyond my understanding, so I just followed the action. The dialogue felt like a demonstration of maritime lingo. I even opted to watch the film with subtitles, and still I didn't understand much of what the hell they were saying. As a result I lost interest very early in the film. How many times do they actually use the words "rudder" and "aye" in this movie?? Enough already... *add annoying face here*...

Speaking of following the action. My head was spinning from a sense of deja vu. I mean, deja vu, deja vu, deja vu.... This story could have been told in a 20-minute short film, yet the film runs for 90 minutes, of which the entire film is about a ship chasing after a submarine, then the sub chases the ship, then the ship chases the sub again... yawn.

The visuals were clearly computer generated, like a dated videogame. Hence, I wasn't captivated by anything that happened here. It didn't feel real. It felt like the actors were partaking in a simulation. I didn't really care about any of the characters. None of them were fleshed out and we didn't know anything about them, so I never rooted for any of them. The only character with a bit of background was Captain Krause (Hanks), but still there was hardly any character development and about 50% of his dialogue was "rudder left", "rudder right", "hard rudder" or whatever. This was so boring.... War veterans or die hard fans of the submarine genre might enjoy this...

Would I watch it again? No.

Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story

It's hard to fault a movie when its based on fact, and so very accurate at that. Having researched JK Rowling before watching this movie to verify the authenticity of this film, it was rather accurate in its presentation.

Poppy Montgomery was convincing as JK Rowling. Even if not based on fact, this is an interesting story. It is fast-paced and intriguing, and very inspirational - especially for aspiring writers! Even if you're not a writer, you have to admire JK for her determination and willpower against all odds. This is a delightful (TV) movie with a great message.

Bom Yeoareum Gaeul Gyeoul Geurigo Bom

Could it possibly have been any slower paced...?
As the title indicates, the film is about the circle of life. While there's no denying 'Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring' is beautifully filmed, it is one of the most boring films I've ever seen...

I honestly can't understand why this is such a highly rated movie. Nothing significant happened here...apart from a young man with a conservative upbringing lusting for a girl now that he's mature. Sounds harsh? Well, that's what its all about. Yes, sure, everything is not to be taken literally and you have to read between the lines. There's a few underlying lessons here, but by golly, was it a tedious journey to discover the actual meaning of this film!

This was insanely boring. To make matters worse, the film is also seriously short on dialogue. This might have worked as a short. Some scenes are unnecessarily long just to make up time. It's just not worth sitting through this for almost two hours with so little happening just to find the hidden message. A message I fully understand, mind you, but to tell is just not worth it. Yawn. Skip. (At least the cinematography was really beautiful).


Trend-setting original!
The 'Saw' franchise started out as a mystery thriller, as opposed to the gory, blood-soaked films that were to follow. The only real horror here was the suspense, and how the unknown gnawed at you.

Mysterious from the very beginning, the film became more intriguing as it progressed. This is a very interesting investigative story, and exciting premise we haven't quite seen before. Throughout the film there were so many twists and turns to make you doubt everything. As more was revealed, more questions begged to be answered.

'Saw' has a very clever, very original script that keeps the viewer engaged and guessing until the finale. Speaking of the finale, the third act is a roller coaster ride of fear and suspense. It is fast paced and cringe worthy - in a good sense! It's a heart pounding finale bound to keep you on the edge of your seat. There's a great twist ending you won't see coming. The film is so much better the second time around. Once you know the story, you'll know what to look for, and will be amazed at how well everything is set up.

'Saw' was followed by seven sequels. Sadly, these were not nearly as captivating, and concentrated more on blood, guts and gore to shock the audience.

3 Idiots

A Treat!
Interesting coming of age story of three engineering students. '3 Idiots' is funny and heartfelt. In an instant, the film can be as dramatic as it is comedic, both equally effective.

The well selected cast is excellent, especially Aamir Khan (who is always excellent). Through a series of events, the film takes us on a journey of self discovery, with a few life lessons as well. There's something here everyone can relate to.

Incredibly, for a 3-hour long movie, my attention was glued to the screen the entire time. The humor was naturally funny instead of slapstick. (I can just imagine how Hollywood would have treated this type of film - ugh!). '3 Idiots' is a beautiful film that will make you laugh and cry. This was just brilliant with a wonderful ending.


Definitely NOT what I was looking for...
I was so looking forward to another great disaster movie from South Korea, and a volcano disaster movie as a bonus, since I haven't seen a good volcano movie since 'Dante's Peak' back in 1997. Unfortunately, 'Ashfall' is not what I was looking for.

'Ashfall' can't decide what it wants to be. Is it comedy, drama, disaster, war movie, or crime thriller? There are too much humor for anything to be taken seriously. They even attempt emotional scenes, but these fail miserably. There are also so many characters and back stories that I completely forgot about the volcano. There's too little volcano action to call this a disaster movie. Apart from the opening scene and the climax, there's hardly any mention-able volcano activity.

The film also blends ideas from 'San Andreas', 'Geostorm', 'Tidal Wave' and 'Pompeii' to no avail. It is completely unbelievable and unconvincing. The situations the characters find themselves in are not always believable, and their actions are questionable. The team sent to activate the detonators are complete idiots and incompetent. The visuals are also mediocre. There's no suspense here and very little that really excited me.

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