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In the Land of Saints and Sinners

POMOIn the Land of Saints and Sinners(2023) 

Engels The killers of Inisherin. This surprisingly little known Irish production with tough guy Liam Neeson is more pleasing than some of his recent Hollywood movies. Though the plot is heavily formulaic and predictable, the characters, between which sparks fly, are not one-dimensional; the story is told meticulously from the directorial standpoint, with love for westerns (including a harmonica), well-directed actors, great use of coastline panoramas and music that’s far nicer and deeper than what you would expect from a “cowboy flick with Neeson” (listen to the closing credits). The main villain played by Kerry Condon is an ultra-bitch and Ciarán Hinds and Colm Meaney are always delightful in supporting roles. Three and a half stars.

Alone

POMOAlone(2020) 

Engels Alone loses points because of its unimaginative screenplay and the improbable behaviour of its characters. The forest setting is not enough, nor is the typologically well-chosen killer when there is neither the skill nor effort to motivationally shape his character, to somehow surprise the viewer or to have a greater goal than a hunt and fight for survival, which is done more interestingly by a lot of other films. An absolutely average two and a half stars.

Swiss Army Man

POMOSwiss Army Man(2016) 

Engels A corpse played by Daniel Radcliffe as the kindred spirit of a suicidal outsider played by Paul Dano? Why not?! An irresistibly imaginative and surprising cinematic flight of fancy packed with friendship, farting, existential ideas and personal fragments of life, among which each of us can find “their own”.

Johnny vs Amber: The U.S. Trial

NinadeLJohnny vs Amber: The U.S. Trial(2022) 

Engels This is a genre within a genre. A courtroom drama between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. They met professionally during the filming of The Rum Diary (2011), were married from 2015-2017, and the rest is history. Depp's hardcore fans will never admit anything that could tarnish their image of him, their cult idol who has been with us for 4 decades. Heard has always been a small fish next to him, one of many of his partners, so no one expected that the potential breakup of their relationship could have such a bitter aftermath. But it happened, it's a separate topic, a whole series of documentaries are being made, books are coming out, and the tabloids have thoroughly enjoyed it, so I expect a feature film adaptation eventually. Because if Hollywood knows how to do anything, it's to exploit scandals to the core. It was like this 100 years ago in the Roscoe Arbuckle case, and nothing has changed.

Bridge of Spies

EvilPhoEniXBridge of Spies(2015) 

Engels As soon as I saw only old people in the cinema, I knew I wouldn't be the target audience. It's nicely directed and fairly intelligently written, Tom Hanks is excellent and occasionally pulls off a joke, but I can't speak more highly of it. What bothered me was that we don’t get any courtroom stuff, the running is excessive and it’s not very entertaining. Catch Me If You Can, for example, was also just a long conversation, but it had a better paced and a much more powerful and entertaining effect on the viewer. With Bridge of Spies, I was more interested in when the ending would be than how the film would end, and I suppose that's wrong. I don't regret going to the cinema, it had its light moments (the plane crash, the conversation in Berlin), but it didn't pull me in. Strong three stars. 70%.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

EvilPhoEniXScouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse(2015) 

Engels What a ride!! The end of the year is approaching and I can warmly declare that Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse will not miss the second place in this year's top!! I have nothing but praise in every aspect. The film is incredibly fast paced from start to finish, it builds up beautifully, it radiates tension, the jokes are abundant (the zombie penis scene will kill everyone), the gore is perfect and there is plenty of it (the ending at the discotheque is one of the most brutal orgies of this year). The film also has very likeable protagonists, both the three main scouts and the bad ass sexy lady with them. It's also brimming with very original ideas and there are things you won’t see anywhere else (a zombie deer, zombie cats, a zombie stripper, a zombie Britney Spears singing and dancing and more!) Stylish guilty pleasure as fuck, you can see $15 million budget, no expense was spared anywhere. If I could give out Oscars, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse would get at least three. Best Zombie Movie of the Year (maybe even of the last five years), Best Handled Gore and Best Comedy-Horror. This movie definitely doesn't end with the first screening, I need to see this at least three times. I recommend it to everyone!! Story 7/10, Atmosphere 8/10, Gore 10/10, Visuals 9/10, Action 8/10, Suspense 8/10, Humor 9/10, Entertainment 10/10. Only an absolute disrespectful BITCH can't like this!

Sinister 2

EvilPhoEniXSinister 2(2015) 

Engels I wasn't too impressed with the first part either, so I didn't expect much from the second one. It's decently shot, the tapes are okay, the scares didn't work for me, and the attempts weren't too many (Insidious 3 had about 15 of them!). Bughuul didn't make much of an appearance and the finale was, as in the first part, bland. 55%.

The Wave

EvilPhoEniXThe Wave(2015) 

Engels Norwegians in form!! The Wave is a very gripping disaster movie with some awesome sequences (I almost regret not waiting for the cinema in January). The opening is a bit slower, with the classic character bonding and impending threat, but once the avalanche arrives on the scene, bringing with it an 80m tidal wave in a small remote Norwegian town, the fun is taken care of. Evacuations, chaos, panic of the highest caliber!! Roar Uthaug has a knack for creating tension and atmosphere and I guarantee that 20 minutes into the middle of the film you won't be able to breathe, you'll utter 45 swear words, you'll sweat and maybe even shed a tear like I did. After an hour, The Wave turns sub-genres into post-apocalyptic, which slightly starts to remind you of the Spanish film The Impossible. It goes nicely, the emotions and empathy work. I'm surprised how decent it was. 80%.

Pan

EvilPhoEniXPan(2015) 

Engels When it comes to family fairy tales, I prefer this to cartoons. The beautiful Rooney Mara, the excellent Hugh Jackman and the handsome up-and-coming Levi Miller. I also liked the beautiful and colourful visuals (the crocodile is amazing) and the nice pace. While Pan doesn't quite match Jack the Giant Slayer and The Wizard of Oz, it is still enjoyable family entertainment. 65%

Ali G Indahouse

EvilPhoEniXAli G Indahouse(2002) 

Engels This was a bit too awkwardly humorous at times and I was more embarrassed than laughing (and I usually like this kind of thing). Sacha Baron Cohen is a pervert, no question about it. It's watchable, but there are plenty of better comedies out there. 55%.

Team America: World Police

EvilPhoEniXTeam America: World Police(2004) 

Engels Fine form and idea, but the humour didn't really hit me. I didn't really understand why the biggest star power was Alec Baldwin, an absolutely uninteresting actor who hasn't done anything in a few years and is being praised here as the best actor?? I was amused by the final speech, the song and the rather bloody finale, otherwise I barely laughed. 60%

In the Heart of the Sea

EvilPhoEniXIn the Heart of the Sea(2015) 

Engels Ron Howard delivers an unexpectedly gritty survival drama with memorable scenes. A decently thought out story, an excellent Chris Hemsworth, a captivating demonic whale, solid visuals, working emotions and a decent dramatic line between the captain and the first officer are all here. There are a few uncomfortable scenes that are also a delight. The second half is already more tedious compared to the first, but I still have positive feelings about the film. The sea is cruel! 75%

Species

EvilPhoEniXSpecies(1995) 

Engels An excellent sci-fi movie with a touch of Alien. A solid cast (most notably the excellent Forest Whitaker and the beautiful Natasha Henstridge), decent themes and pacing, solid technical aspects and reliably working suspense. I'm surprised this horror film remains somewhat overlooked, it still gets me after 20 years. 75%

Sleepwalkers

EvilPhoEniXSleepwalkers(1992) 

Engels An admittedly ridiculous, but quite entertaining B-movie on an unorthodox theme starring the beautiful Mädchen Amick. I wasn't bored, but I'm not going to go for a higher rating than three stars. 60%

M.D.C. - Maschera di cera

EvilPhoEniXM.D.C. - Maschera di cera(1997) 

Engels An appealing premise set in a wax house, but I wasn't too keen on it. It's nicely shot, occasionally gory, but it didn't draw me into the plot, it didn't work on me, it didn't have the impact they probably intended. 55%

Necrophobia

EvilPhoEniXNecrophobia(1995) 

Engels Even though the film is only 60 minutes long, I was absolutely bored and had trouble finishing it. The gore is average and there is little of it, so I see no reason to recommend this film. 40%

The People under the Stairs

EvilPhoEniXThe People under the Stairs(1991) 

Engels Wes Craven is great. An original theme about a remarkably huge house and a deranged family with a mysterious secret in the basement. The suspense pedals from start to finish, I was fascinated by the various traps and corridors, the father in his black suit was a proper nutter and the mother a proper perverted bitch. Surprise. A good flick.75%

Funny Man

EvilPhoEniXFunny Man(1994) 

Engels In the 90s, Funny Man was certainly a hit, but today it is of little interest to anyone. I liked his sleazy looks and wit, but the murders weren't very colorful. A passable one-off. 60%.

Necronomicon: Book of Dead

EvilPhoEniXNecronomicon: Book of Dead(1993) 

Engels A decent anthology horror film, where the first story is average and the other two are above average. Solid practical effects and gore, original themes and nice twists. 70%

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