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Reviews

Y: The Last Man
(2021)

Execution Boredom
I don't know the comics but watched because the idea sounded interesting. The big trouble here - the execution of the idea is a total bore, but maybe women dreaming of a world without men will like it more. If you like the concept I recommend a Polish sci-fi comedy movie: Sexmission (1984) - two guys awake in a world where only women survived a great war, its far more entertaining, sexy and funny too.

Red Sonja
(1985)

A Solid Ride
If you love the good ol' Conan movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger, you will like Red Sonja too. Regarding the genre, Sword & Sorcery, there are not too many good movies, but Red Sonja belongs to those few. Still a fine gem of an adventure movie with a solid production and some cheesy flavor, that got the right spirit to put Robert E. Howard's fantasy/vision into moving pictures. Good.

Nordwand
(2008)

Almost Excellent
North Face is a fantastic drama, man fighting against all odds and an unforgiving nature, based on a true story. Production and acting, everything is just excellent and gripping. There is only one but rather issue I got with this movie - the implementation of the role of Luise Fellner, which is completely fictional, and in my opinion, that role (well played, but nonetheless) is not only unnecessary but ends up in some real kitsch in the end (I hear the producer: we need some female lead heroin!). Anyway, the by far greatest part of the movie is a fine drama set in to the wonderful landscape of the Alps. North Face: still better than most movies of that kind of movies.

High Plains Drifter
(1973)

Not Perfect But Strong
If you watch this little piece you realize where Mr. Eastwood learned his business in directing: Sergio Leone, the great master of Western movies Italian style. Anyway, High Plains Drifter is one mysterious piece that combines the gunslinger business with some mysticism/mystery. In my opinion it is obvious, at least in the end, who the stranger really is.

Anyway, we get a fine little work by Eastwood, acting and directing wise, many scenes and cam work are solid copies of Leones style, but still have room for improvement. High Plains Drifter: not perfect but one of those movies that try to expand their genre. Recommended if movies like El Topo (1970), Circle of Iron (1978) and of course all those classics of Spaghetti Western are welcomed friends to you.

Il colosso di Rodi
(1961)

Cheese Deluxe
It was one of my cheesy pleasures in my youth to watch all those Italian (and Spanish) "historical" adventure movies on TV. The quality of those movies ranges from solid to cringe-worthy (but mostly the good kind of cringe) - they are in their best moments like those stories in the pulp magazines of gone times (that nobody admitted to buy and read). Anyway, The Colossus of Rhodus is a solid contribution to those kind of works but only in a very few moments we get a little inkling of the kind of epic movies the director of this piece will direct only a few years later. Cheesy, funny, entertaining.

Per un pugno di dollari
(1964)

Spaghetti Deluxe
Last weekend I put the whole trilogy on my screen and was well entertained - once again. It's really a loss, that Sergio Leone had not the chance to direct more movies. But anyway, his work will never be forgotten. Essential for the whole genre (and even movie making in general).

Per qualche dollaro in più
(1965)

Another Bull's Eye
The Dollar trilogy of Mr. Leone was and still is one of the finest moments of the whole Western genre. There are still a few tries to revive the genre and make epic and iconic movies like this (some are really good like Tarantino's Hateful Eight, Jarmusch's Dead Man, 3:10 to Yuma or Open Range comes to mind) but this is one of the originals - epic, classic, a unique style, and last but not least timeless - most of Leone's movies just age well and get improved by a good shot of pure nostalgia every decade that passes.

Con Air
(1997)

Solid Action Classic
For sure Con Air is one of Nicolas Cage's best movies - good old action, a simple but suspenseful story, good timing, no fillers. One of those classic action movies that I like to watch every now and then again. Still good.

Dune
(2021)

Spectacle Without Soul
The visuals are sometimes stunning but there are great issues with this "version": the changes in characters just feel very wrong - if you know or are used to the original material (I read Frank Herbert's books quite a few times, and Lynch's Dune is in my opinion, despite some flaws, a masterpiece and ways stronger than this new work, even the cinematography is in my view more original and fantastic, not to mention the way stronger and more interesting cast).

Villeneuve's Dune may be a modern reinterpretation of the material and will maybe satisfy a younger audience or people who do not know the books (well), but for me it is more or less just a visual spectacle (like so many movies these days) with some profound changes (to characters, plot etc.) but without the right heart, mind and soul, and the greatest issue: a lot of the complex source material just gets lost in some sci-fi visual spectacle. Verdict: certainly not bad but rather mediocre pop-corn cinema stuff, because missing the depth of Herbert's fantastic epic sadly by far, but for sure there are lot of worse ways to spend 2+ hours of your lifetime.

By the way - that Imdb is flooded right from the beginning by fake reviews and countless max rates, tells a lot.

Anna
(2021)

Good One
Anna is no bad work - some fine cinematography, acting is solid, the soundtrack too. A weak point are those flashbacks that are imo disturbing the natural flow and tone of the story told. But nevertheless, Anna is an interesting and partly really entertaining contribution to the post-apocalyptic genre and as such, worth a try, assumed that you are not only on the search of the next action and gore-loving movie/show in Mad Max style. Recommended if you like such shows/movies like Los Últimos Días (The Last Days, 2013), Into the Forest (2015), The Road and so on.

Cinderella
(2021)

One of the Worst Cinderellas - Easy
I rated Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (starring Lily James, 2015) a 6 - it is entertaining and solid, but this new Cinderella makes Branagh's version look like a masterpiece. I don't talk about casting choices or changes to characters and the like but the execution of the whole affair - the tone is all wrong, the humor feels forced and generic, the whole thing feels like something made up in one day and than filmed in one or two days + postproduction by the special effects guys. But one thing they got right: the producers achieved to put almost every imaginable modern cliche in this movie. And last but not least, the songs are, well, lets be tender, mucho improvable. Why Pierce Brosnan got involved into this mess (the Mamma Mia movies are Oscar material compared), I don't understand. One of the worst Cinderellas I ever witnessed.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
(2021)

Hm
The first Escape Room was nothing special but some solid easy pop-corn "horror" movie, the second one is a rather disappointing affair. The trouble begins right with the killing of the wife of the puzzle maker - how you will explain to the police that she got cooked in the sauna without explaining why you got a device to close the door from the outside!? And if you take away that device (or it won't be discovered), why the woman just did not open the door? Suicide by cooking yourself? That's just one example of how the plot of Tournament of Champions lacks in many scenes basic logic and therefore is totally unbelievable (far more than the first one), and what you get is more or less one action scene after another, mindless, making you rather numb than excited. A redundant and rather unnecessary sequel. The first one I rated 5, this gets 4 points but no more.

Knights of the Round Table
(1953)

Colorful Soulcandy
Knights of the Round Table is a fine and colorful adventure tale with a great cast and some fine production, of course, in the style and pomp of the big screen movies of the 50s. Fine costumes, great settings, some beautiful scenery, lots of fights and beautiful ladies. The spectacle is strong in this one, and the nostalgia too, I should add, as such, still a pleasure to watch, and far greater than all those new Fast and Furios clones in the gestalt of fantasy, that are en vogue these days, and have not much to do with the old epics and tales of old times.

Tides
(2021)

Okayland
Solid produced post-apocalyptic movie with some serious trouble regarding logic, psychology/behaviour and world building - I read a lot of pulp fiction sci-fi novels and magazines back in my younger years, that got more science in their DNA despite being mostly adventure stories. Anyway, if you like such movies and shows, to mind comes The 100, Tribes of Europe and the like, this may do for you.

Don't Breathe 2
(2021)

Somewhere Lost in So-So-Land
Well, the first one was solid entertainment despite some flaws (how to beat a guy who depends on his hearing only? Easy, you make lots of noise: put the wash machine, radio and whatever is available on), the sequel is in some parts (some good action scenes) good too. The first I rated 6, this one gets only a rate of 5 (first one got a point more for originality). Final words: if the first one was a solid one for you, you may try this one too - it's dark, it's violent and got some crazy twist in the end, but of course, how the old man moved in unknown territory and killed those dudes is even more unrealistic as some of his actions in the first one.

Life of Pi
(2012)

Not My Cup
One of those modern "masterpieces" I don't get - I tried two times to watch Life of Pi but could not finish. After an hour or so I quit. The tiger looks very artificial to me and the whole story got the depth of Disney's Cinderella or something like that. Well, that's of course just my opinion. To sum it up: not a total wreck and maybe you belong to the tribe of people that like that story much more than I do.

American Horror Story
(2011)

Rather Lame and Tame
All those many raving reviews, so I tried from time to time to watch a couple of episodes of American Horror Story here and there but there is not much for me to like - the art of horror is a rather weak one and I was always slightly bored and ended up doing stuff on my smartphone or tablet. On the plus side some good and known actors and a solid tv-show production. Verdict: not the kind of horror I want or need and that puts dark joy in my soul. Maybe entertaining enough for a mainstream audience.

Ator l'invincibile
(1982)

Fool's Gold Gold
Ator l'invincibile aka Ator the Fighting Eagle - only bearable for those who can savor and admire pure cheesy trash - and that in rather huge doses. As I liked the genre of Sword and Sorcery in my youth on screen and in pulp magazines and books, and therefore have still some tender spot in my heart for such kind of "art", I rate this a bold 7 (even if this means to endagner my "reputation") but I honestly add, that I understand everyone who rates this one rather on the low, pardon me, very low side of the rating scala.

Conan the Barbarian
(2011)

Mediocre Is Not Good Enough for Conan
Jason Momoa is no bad Conan but he is not Conan, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the one and only ;) Nispel's version has in my view a few issues that weakens the whole movie - some plot changes to the origin of Conan (like in the book of Mr. Howard) are unnecessary and weak - a child Conan kills a bunch of Pict warriors: this is just stupid and compared to the original material (Conan developing his strength in hard slavery work and his skills to fight and kill in the arena as a slave gladiator). If you compare the movie from 1982 (directed by John Milius) to Nispel's movie you easy can see what story is the stronger one. Also Schwarzenegger got a ton more charisma as the Cimmerian warrior than Momoa, who is not bad but not too good either. All in all the 2011 movie is not that bad, but rather unnecessary and unsatisfing for those who are familiar with the original material. One question left: there are tons of Conan stories written by Robert E. Howard and his sucsessors, why not producing one of the other adventures instead of trying to "reboot" the story of Conan with a weaker rewritten version of an already done and very good movie?

Avatar
(2009)

Eye Candy + Some Good Ol' Action
Avatar is still pure eye candy to watch - the weakest point maybe is the rather simple and generic story line (if you take all the sci fi glamour away you get Pocahontas). Anyway, the effects and visuals are top-notch and the tempo of the story unfolding never leaves you bored. Still a fine looking and entertaining sci-fi action movie.

Reminiscence
(2021)

The Art of Sleep
I quit watching this one after an hour or so - Reminiscence is a technical okay production (effects, acting) but whereas the idea of the story sounded somewhat interesting, the movie itself is a totally uninspired piece, it got no heart, no soul. The characters, the story itself, I don't know how to describe it better but by watching I almost felt how more and more of my brain cells got into sleeping mode. Weak.

Beyond White Space
(2018)

Not Too Bad
Beyond White Space is no bad movie (for sure not the worst movie ever, like some reviewers claim) but also no good one - some parts are fun, some are rather boring. Acting and production are B-movie style, so if you like movies about space adventures and you need something new on your screen, you may give this Moby Dick "light" a try. The idea of hunting for "space whales" to feed mankind is of course cheese deluxe.

Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told
(1967)

Fun Flick
Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told - the title is of course a very bold one but at least the movie delivers some good old-school fashioned horror trash - one of the earliest movies about mad, bloodthirsty families I know. My recommendation - you should at least once take the ride.

Ganja & Hess
(1973)

Watchable
Putting this on my dish I hoped for some new (unknown to me) trashy and cheesy classic horror feast of the 70s but what I got was rather lukewarm stuff, watchable, yes, but rather a boring affair. I won't recommend Ganja & Hess but I also won't say that you shouldn't give it a try. Maybe you are more funky than I am.

Winchester '73
(1950)

One of the Finest Moments of the Genre
Winchester '73 is for sure one of the best Western movies made ever and was till the arrival of the great classics of the Spaghetti Western movies with a guy called Clint Eastwood unchallenged by most movies of the genre. A fine performance by James Steward and the rest of the cast supports a great story. Winchester '73: belongs still to the best of the genre, like the two years later published High Noon with Gary Cooper, unforgettable.

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