paulclaassen

IMDb member since February 2003
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Reviews

Extinction
(2018)

No, thanks. Rather watch SKYLINE - much better story and visuals.
Uhm, I enjoyed the foreboding visions of the impending doom, but that's about as much as I liked about the film.

Things start going wrong very similar to 'Skyline' - only 'Skyline' was far superior to this film. The visual effects were B-movie-ish, and this film was just not as exciting. The film later felt like deja vu, moving around in circles going nowhere. I can't say I liked the twist ending either. I mean, what the hell?? There's too much here that doesn't add up. I don't think I'm going to remember this for a long time. I'd rather watch 'Skyline' a hundred times over.

Missing Link
(2019)

Stunning!! I loved it!
Oh, how utterly delightful!! The animation is interesting, different, and simply beautiful. What a wonderful story and great script! The film had so many hilarious (subtle) one-liners. Most of the humor was just naturally funny. I absolutely loved the characters and Hugh Jackman voiced Sir Lionel Frost to perfection.

This is a great action adventure for young and old. Director Chris Butler's directorial debut 'ParaNorman' (2012) is one of my favorite animated films. Now, with only his second film as director, 'Missing Link' will be added to my list of favorite animated films. This was sensational. I loved it!

The ending leaves the door wide open for a sequel, and personally, I can't wait!!

Spectral
(2016)

I was SO ENTERTAINED by this!! Awesome!
'Spectral' has all the trademarks of an alien invasion movie, but this 'Battle: Los Angeles' meets 'The Darkest Hour' film is actually not an alien movie. This is a movie about a science experiment gone wrong.

I enjoyed the simplicity of the film. There's no twists, no frills, no complicated issues. This is a simple story about soldiers in a predicament and trying to stay alive against all odds as they face an 'invisible' enemy. The visual effects are awesome! It is a good script with great dialogue. This spectacular fantasy action film. is fast-paced, action-packed, suspenseful and unpredictable. It also has the added bonus of very good acting from a veteran cast.

The visuals never ceased to amaze me; it is simply out of this world. This was an incredibly entertaining film. Just wow, wow, wow!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(1975)

Simply the best!!
I must be honest, many years ago when I first saw the trailer to 'Rocky Horror Picture Show', my exact words were "This looks stupid." By chance one day I decided to watch it, and boy am I glad I did!! I wonder how many times I've watched this since that day.

This is without a doubt one of the greatest musicals ever, if not the greatest. Sure, a lot of people will dislike the film for its theme, but either way you have to agree the music is unforgettable, the lyrics sensational (and funny!), and the make-up and costumes superb! I wonder how many Rocky Horror theme parties/dress codes there's been over the years...

Tim Curry steals the show as Frank N. Furter!! It simply would not have been the same without him. This is the best performance of his career, and possibly of any actor. He is BRILLIANT and oh-so-perfectly cast. Richard O'Brien (the brain behind Rocky Horror) is also very good as Riff Raff. And Peter Hinwood is simply delicious as Rocky Horror!

'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' is a cinematic treat that will continue to entertain, thrill and excite viewers for many years to come. It is erotic, sensual, funny, and features the best original and most memorable music written for a show (as this was a show before the film). I can watch this over and over and over and over...

Case 39
(2009)

Well made diabolical thriller.
This type of film has been done many times before, some effective, some not so much. 'Case 39' is very similar to 'Orphan', also released 2009. Only, I didn't like the twist in 'Orphan'.

Familiar with the genre, the film was therefore somewhat predictable. Then again, that is the nature of this type of film. It's the execution thereof that matters, and 'Case 39' is very well executed. The jump scares are very effective, I mean bloody hell!! Jodelle Ferland is excellent as the little girl, Lillith. (Ferland was 14 at the time, playing a 10-year old, and already a veteran in the industry with over 40 TV appearances). The character is very creepy and disturbing, and she pulls it off with such ease. Lillith truly gets under your skin!

I enjoyed the subtle way the story unfolded to eventually reveal Lillith's true identity. They made sure we liked the character first. Renee Zellweger was also very good as Child Services agent Emily, and Bradley Cooper was nice in a much more reserved role.

The film builds to a scary, action-packed climax. Very well done!

ParaNorman
(2012)

Uniquely different animated film.
Although this is an animated film, it is a difficult one to recommend to kids. This is a great story and a unique idea for an animated film. Some of the scenes might give young kids nightmares, though, or it might be too frightening a thought for them thinking the dead literally walk among us.

Furthermore, some of the animation - like a car rolling down a hill and landing perfectly in a parking bay - is very cartoonish, which will appeal to young kids. Some of the humor, though, will only appeal to a more mature audience, as kids might not understand it. There's a lot of issues here parents would not want their kids to see: witches, raising the dead, reading spells from a book, zombies, etc. 'ParaNorman' therefore is a 50/50 movie when it comes to demographic. As for me, I really loved it for daring to be so different. There's also so many relate-able characters. Loved the animation, as well.

The film also has a much deeper meaning, dealing with coping with the loss of a family member, and being able to forgive. Again, children might not understand this, but no doubt will enjoy the many different aspects/genres the film has to offer.

Legenda o Kolovrate
(2017)

Incredible visuals, great story.
Bloody hell, the visuals are stunning!! This Russian action adventure drama is beautifully filmed, with incredible visuals and photography, and an awesome score to accompany it.

I enjoyed the characters and the survival element of the film. Ilya Malakov did a fantastic job as Kolovrat, a young man who believes he is 13 again every time he wakes up - due to a head injury when he was just 13. All the characters were likable, and the actors were really good. I felt their pain, agony, joy, defeat and determination. This was wonderful!

Sing
(2016)

Not THAT great...
Mix together all the Got Talent shows there's been, add 'The Greatest Showman', a generous dose of 'Burlesque', and a pinch of 'Mrs Henderson Presents'. Then make it cheesy. I mean, really cheesy, and you get 'Sing'!

I'm a huge fan of animated films. This one just didn't do it for me, though. Yes, it is delightful in its own right. It's just really cheesy, and kind of predictable. This will appeal to a younger demographic. And possibly Simon Cowell... No, seriously, if you don't take it too seriously and allow the characters to win you over, it could be fun. Just not sure I'm ready to watch it again soon, though. I really didn't have that much fun with it...

Terminator Genisys
(2015)

I can't seem to stop asking myself WHY???
Oh, why oh why did they greenlight this project? 'Genisys' is a rehash of all the previous films and offers nothing new or original. Byung-Hun Lee tried so hard to mimic Robert Patrick's performance as the liquid metal T-1000, but he simply couldn't pull it off as brilliantly as Patrick did. Emilia Clarke was very weak as Sarah Connor (so stunningly portrayed by Linda Hamilton in the previous films). Clarke was simply not convincing.

As for the plot, it was pretty much been there done that. This installment is completely unnecessary and the more they tried to explain where they fit in the timeline, the more they confused the story. So, John Connor - humanity's last hope - is now the bad guy??? This was cliche upon cliche and the visuals were not so great. The original Terminator movies were made over two decades ago and yet the CGI and visuals are far superior to the effects in this 2015 film. They use too little practical effects and rely too much on CGI, making the film look like a video game. CGI is definitely getting worse - probably because it is becoming more freely available and cheaper.

Lets face it, if this was an original film, it would have been an ok watch, but as part of the franchise it was a yawner. I honestly don't know if I'm going to remember this, as there simply was nothing special or memorable about this film. (The only very good scene, was the bus chase scene). The action scenes were bland and boring. Oh, and off course Hollywood's inclination to destroy as much as possible prevails. Yawn...next...!

Jungle
(2017)

Fantastic survival tale, but sometimes difficult to watch...
I don't know exactly what I expected from the movie - being based on fact - but this is definitely not what I expected (and that's not in a bad way). This is fast-paced, very unpredictable and suspenseful, with so much character development.

Daniel Radcliffe was incredible in this film and absolutely sold his survival tale to me. He was genuinely so believable. 'Jungle' initially reminded me a lot of 'Deliverance', but as the film progressed, it became increasingly difficult to watch. The scenery is so beautiful, and yet they also clearly illustrates how dangerous it can be. The make-up is fantastic, rendering some of the scenes so cringe worthy that I could hardly watch. Radcliffe is excellent in this very demanding role. He certainly proved himself a worthy actor post-Harry Potter.

This is such a good film, but due to its nature, might be a while before I watch it again. I need to catch my breath first...!

Subspecies: The Awakening
(1998)

UGH!!!! What happened??
Through insane editing, the opening credits pays tribute to all the previous films. And that's about as much as I enjoyed about this installment...

Five years after the trilogy ended, the story continues, and maybe it shouldn't have. How could the same director with the same actors make this mess of a film? Badly acted. Badly directed. Bad effects. Bad make-up. Bad story. Bad lighting. And Lieutenant Marin was an idiotic character of note, badly acted by Ion Haiduc. Why, why, why?

In the first film, Michelle became a vampire. In the second, she was coming to terms with her new life. In the third, her sister tried to save her from Radu. Now, in the fourth, a doctor tries to enable her to walk in daylight. Ugh, this was such a bad B-movie. This looks much cheaper than the previous films.

I think I'll conveniently forget I've seen this and disregard it as part of the story.

Skjelvet
(2018)

Absolutely loved it!
If you're going to watch this expecting to see something similar to 'San Andreas', then this is probably not for you. This is not Hollywood schmultz all about visuals and nothing else. This film goes much deeper and is more about family bonding during a natural disaster. Yes, they tried that in 'San Andreas' as well, but that was sentimental and cheesy. This is far more realistic.

This sequel to 'The Wave' is equally good, and thoroughly enjoyable. One tends to forget the wave in 'The Wave' was actually caused by an earthquake, so it makes sense to have an earthquake sequel. The cinematography is stunning! This film looks simply beautiful on screen.

So, the original cast is back for another disaster adventure. The film pretty much follows the same pattern as 'The Wave'. The suspense builds slowly but ever so effectively. It was a bit over-dramatized at times, but it adds to the suspense and its a hell of a lot of fun!

The visual effects during the third act is incredible! As they say, save the best for last!

Bloodlust: Subspecies III
(1994)

Not as good, but still entertaining.
With 'Subspecies 2' being so good, this installment was a bit of a letdown. The affects are not as good, and the film is more comedic. Why is Lieutenant Marin suddenly such an idiotic character? And Radu's laughing mother was so annoying!

The shadow effects are not as realistic and at times seems experimental. The story has way too many conveniences and is simply not believable. There's also the faithful 'victim falls for the detective' cliche. In general, this film is more lighthearted than serious, and wasn't as enjoyable, yet nevertheless still watchable and entertaining.

Bloodstone: Subspecies II
(1993)

Better than the original.
1991 saw the release of 'Subspecies'. In 1992, the big budget vampire film 'Dracula' (or Bram Stoker's Dracula' was released, starring Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins. Everyone was talking about the awesome and creepy shadow effects. 'Subspecies 2: Bloodstone' was released in 1993, and featured equally impressive and creepy shadow effects, considering its low budget.

The film picks up where the first film left off. Anders Hove is back as Radu. It's a pity Laura Mae Tate did not reprise her role as Michelle, but Denice Duff does a good job as her replacement. Everything about this sequel is better than the original. The visuals, the make-up, the story. In the first film, Radu merely had a white painted face. Now, his face is puffy with make-up and is looking much scarier. The make-up in general is head and shoulders above the original.

This is the story of Michelle - now a vampire - coming to terms with her new life, while her sister searches for her. The film is a bit more dramatic and more emotional. I actually thoroughly enjoyed this installment. This is a sequel that surpasses the original on every level.

Subspecies
(1991)

Not great, but watchable.
The visual effects are dated by today's standard, but I can't help but wonder if it maybe was good for its time. Even the make-up is not the best and it definitely has the look and feel of a B-movie. Nevertheless, although this is a cheaply made film, it was rather interesting. Nothing to write home about, but I've certainly seen much worse vampire movies. It was interesting enough for me to keep watching.

The acting wasn't too great either, and a lot of the scenes looks acted instead of realistic, almost as if this is a stage play. I'm still interested in seeing the rest of the films, though.

War for the Planet of the Apes
(2017)

YAWN...is it over yet...??
I recently wrote about how critics rated 'Bumblebee' the highest (92%!!) in the 'Transformers' series, yet it did the worst at the box office. Well, they've done it again. 'War for the Planet of the Apes' is the highest rated by critics (93%), and it had the lowest box office takings of the reboot trilogy. Seriously, critics, I'm starting to believe you love insanely slow moving films.

Yup, this film was just a drag. It was slow and overlong and every scene felt dragged out, accompanied by piano music - one key every two or three seconds...Yawn... This film was quieter than 'A Quiet Place'. This was such a yawner that I couldn't wait for the end.

I mean, seriously, the film has no plot, apart from Caesar going after the humans for killing his family, and seems to take FOREVER to get there!! Along the way there are so many unnecessary scenes trying to win you over by being sentimental. Why was the little girl in the film? She served absolutely no purpose whatsoever and was a very weak character. The film is called 'War for the Planet of the Apes', but there's no war. In fact, apart from the first few minutes and the last 15 or so, there's no action. Nothing. Just talk talk talk talk talk...and that sentimental piano music!

The action only arrives during the last few minutes, and it's over before you can say "Ape!" By that time it was anyway too late for the film to redeem itself. I was only too happy the film (finally) reached its end. SPOILER: Oh, and the antagonist (Woody Harrelson) dies by shooting himself???!! What? No battle to the end between him and Caesar?? No climatic protagonist/antagonist fight??? We just have to assume he contracted the virus, unable to speak, and them shoots himself?? Honestly...

If you're looking for action, skip this film. If you're looking for a sentimental (dreary) Sunday afternoon movie, then this is for you.

And critics rate this the highest. Well, I suppose they do their reviews on Sunday afternoons then... Yawn.

Apocalypto
(2006)

Very well made film, but low rating due to it being a difficult film to watch that left me feeling sick.
'Apocalypto' is a very depressing film. With all the brutality and torture, this was not a pleasant watch. The inhumane way people were being treated was disgusting, as well as the graphic animal killings. Mel Gibson doesn't spare us any of the details. This is therefore a very real depiction of what actually happened so many years ago.

I actually watched a Mayan documentary to authenticate the Mayan brutality, and it is indeed very realistic. I believe Gibson wanted to bring across the reality of the situation. He succeeded to such an extent that the film left me feeling sick at times.

The film's final moments were very good, as the film switched genre to become a vengeance thriller. Rudy Youngblood was very good as the hero, Jaguar Paw. He did an incredible job and I enjoyed the character development.

However, there's only a few films I wish I'd not have seen. This is one of them.

Bumblebee
(2018)

This franchise is so done for!! Yawn...
After that dreadful 'Transformers: The Last Knight', I was kind of hoping the franchise had come to an end. And along comes 'Bumblebee' - a prequel.

The film starts looking like a video game. This completely unnecessary prequel felt like I was watching the visualization of a rushed script still in draft stages. It was cliche upon cliche with oh-so-typical American characters and offered nothing new to the franchise. The series is so done! Just like the new 'Ghostbusters', they take the female approach to the film, with Charlie replacing the Sam Witwicky character. Same old, same old...

'Bumblebee' can easily be confused as a 'Transformers' spoof due the the amount of stupid moments and silly humor, which wasn't funny by the way. There are moments they wanted us to think Bumblebee was going to die, but it was ineffective, as we already know he survives since he's in all the sequels. So, there was nothing suspenseful about it. This is a prequel after all, duh!!

Hailee Steinfeld did an ok job as Charlie. The rest of the cast was forgettable, really. It was hardly worth casting John Cena, as he was a very weak character who contributed nothing to the film. This was incredibly cheesy and sentimental with silly dialogue. Yawn. Please end this...

Interestingly enough, this installment is the highest rated by critics, yet fared the worst at the box office. Wow, critics, that's saying a lot...(again).

Eun-mil-ha-gae eui-dae-ha-gae
(2013)

Another very good South Korean film.
Another great film from South Korea. I've said this so many times before and every film I watch, proves my point: the South Korean films are very unpredictable. Most Hollywood films follow a set recipe, but South Korea doesn't and that's why I love their films so much.

Once again - as with so many other Korean films - characters are introduced in a comedic fashion. Only, here it is understandable, as our hero Won Ryoo-hwan is a spy acting as an idiot, Gong-du. I thoroughly enjoyed this humor, but all along one senses there lies so much more beneath the humor. There's also sadness, as Won longs for his mother, and his comrade longs for his family - not knowing their fate.

Just over the halfway mark, the film drastically changes direction to become an action-packed thriller. There's quite a few twists as the film bulldozes its way to the climax that will leave you sitting pondering the ending. As I said, Korean films are very unpredictable...

My only complaint during the final scene was that some of the guards were just standing there with nothing to do whilst the main guys were fighting. These guys are also special forces, yet they have no weapons?? Their mission was to terminate the spies, so why didn't they bring along guns and just shot them? Why the hand to hand combat? I found this purely for the sake of the thrill and suspense of it, but was too Hollywood cliched. Apart from that, this is an awesome, beautifully made film. Oh, and Granny is such a sweet character! I absolutely loved her.

Vantage Point
(2008)

Fantastic!
This is a very unique premise: a film that repeats itself over and over, yet manages to remain fresh and interesting. Every deja vu, or different vantage point, reveals more as we see the action unfold from a different perspective. You have to pay very careful attention to all the detail right from the beginning.

I must be honest, when I decided to watch this, I never expected it to be this exciting or action packed. Dennis Quaid is very good as Thomas Barnes, who unravels the mystery. 'Vantage Point' is one of those films I can watch again and again, and will pick up on something new every time, and enjoy it just as much as the first time I saw it. The final act is super exciting!

The chronology and editing departments must have had a field time putting this together, so hats off to them! This was incredible.

Frequency
(2000)

Beautiful film.
The film is set in two different time zones and it gets a bit complicated when the time zones intertwine. If you pay close attention to all the details, the film is easy to follow. From the beginning, clues are left throughout the film.

The acting was pretty good, and I enjoyed the story as well. I expected it to be cheesy, but overall it was very well executed. Having lost my own father and wishing for this to sometime become a reality, it was emotional at times. The visual effects were also good.

When you change the past, though, there will be consequences, as everything is linked and in place for a reason. Changing one little thing can have a snowball effect. Although there were a lot unexplained by the end and a few plot flaws, this was an amazing watch. It truly is a beautiful movie.

Ban-deu-si jab-neun-da
(2017)

Good, but there are better in the genre.
Korean films are renowned for introducing their characters comedy style, regardless of the genre. 'The Chase' is no different. It starts off like a comedy, and quite funny, too. I really got to like the characters this way.

The film very soon turns grim and suspenseful, though, as a serial killer starts preying on innocent victims in a block of flats. Yun-shik Baek is excellent as grumpy landlord Sim Deok-soo, who starts doing his own investigation regardless of the dangers involved. The film sucks you in like a magnet and it kept me glued to the screen. There's a few interesting twists and a very good finale.

Although I enjoyed the film, films like 'The Chaser' and 'I saw the Devil' are much better, so be sure to check them out.

Do-ga-ni
(2011)

Definitely not for children!
Wow, what a well made and disturbing film. The film sends a very powerful message and also effectively illustrates manipulation, bribery, and abuse of power, believing money can right all wrongs.

Although the film is a bit slow moving, it was never boring. I did, however, find the protagonist Kang In-ho (Yoo Gong) a bit too passive. Seo Yoo-jin was a much stronger character, portrayed by Yu-mi Jung - who did a very good job. The child actors were also good and I enjoyed their back stories, as well. The film is sexually graphic at times (involving children) and definitely not suitable for a young audience.

Based on fact, this is a very disturbing film and the reality of the case is cringe worthy. At the time the film was made, the actual case was still in progress, so the true fate of all involved is not exactly known. As it is, this was not the ending I expected.

The Jungle Book
(2016)

Simply stunning!
'The Jungle Book' is visually so stunning, it's hard to believe not only the animals were CGI, but all the nature scenes as well. Just like 'The Legend of Tarzan', the film was shot entirely in studios. With film technology developing as fast and effective as it does, 'shot on location' might soon be a thing of the past. I predict the technology will become so good and so cheap that films will be made in a studio with everything else being added via computer in post production. Sad, but true.

Neel Sethi is the only real actor in the film, portraying Mowgli. Being his first feature film, it must have been very difficult acting to...well, almost nothing. I must say, however, he did a very good job. Its interesting, though, that everything in the film looked so real, from Mowgli's interaction with the animals to him walking in the forest, and yet a scene of him just running through a field looked incredibly fake.

'The Jungle Book' is a spectacular action adventure drama for young and old. I honestly did not expect this film to have so many jump scares, so be warned! Shere Khan was by far the most impressive creation in the film, and also very scary. (He looked very similar to the tiger in the Korean film 'The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale'. )

Captain America: Civil War
(2016)

Blah blah blah...just why??? What the hell...??
I'm so confused. Why is this part of the Captain America franchise and not 'The Avengers 3: Civil War'? I mean, all the Avengers are here (except for Hulk and Thor) and it follows on 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron'. After all, the first two Captain America films only featured Captain America as super-hero.

Ok, so this film was about...uhm...well... about.... what the heck was it about again?? Apart from the Avengers fighting among themselves there really wasn't much else going on in this film! (Hence the title Civil War, off course.) The fact that the film earned more than $1 billion dollars is completely beyond me. So, the audience actually enjoy seeing the Avengers fighting among themselves??? What a weird society we live in...

Let's face it, the opening scene was very good, and the Bucky chase scene was absolutely incredible. It was fast-paced, exciting and the great photography made the viewer feel he was actually part of the action. After that the film mainly revolves around conflict between the Avengers. I actually enjoyed Tony Stark in this film, who was the most sensible character. The film was dramatic until the halfway mark when Spider-Man and Ant-Man showed up, and along came the silly humor that didn't belong. Why were they in the film at all? They only had a few minutes screen time each and could easily have been replaced by some of the other characters. There were absolutely no need for them.

The fight scene at the airport was completely over the top and actually became rather silly, almost amateurish. It felt like I was watching a visualization of a child's imagination whilst playing with his toys. It honestly was cringe worthy.

There really was no need for this film...

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