July 2014


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When ordinary citizen Jack DeVries (Chris Mulkey) suddenly robs banks and goes on a killing spree, the LAPD struggles to find the answer to DeVries actions. Eventually DeVries ends up in a high speed chase leaving him seriously wounded in the hospital. LAPD detective Sgt. Thomas Beck (Michael Nouri) is put on the case and before he knows it the slightly odd Special Agent Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle MacLachlan) from the FBI is assigned to work with Beck on the case. Gallagher states he has been trailing DeVries for the past month all the way from Seattle. At the hospital, DeVries suddenly awakes, disconnects his life-support equipment and walks over to the comatose man in the next bed, Jonathan P. Miller (William Boyett). DeVries rips off Miller’s breathing mask, then a slug-like Alien emerges from DeVries’ mouth and transfers itself into Miller’s body; DeVries then drops dead. When a doctor and nurse defibrillate Miller, Miller amazes the staff by awakening and calmly walking out. Beck and Gallagher arrives in the hospital, finding DeVries dead body and a missing Jonathan P. Miller. The hunt for something dangerous and not from this world has just begun…

What a hidden (he he) gem “The Hidden” is. I bought this on a vhs tape abroad back in 1988ish due to what I had red about the movie. This was during the time of the heyday for the Swedish Board of Censorship and of course “The Hidden” was censored due to the graphic violence. So getting hold of a vhs tape from England without any cuts was of course a highlight for me. This is a fast paced layered action flick with a base in extra terrestials and shape shifters. There´s a bit of “The Thing”, “Dark Angel” (the 1990 Dolph Lundgren movie) and “Alien Nation” in it and I love that quirkiness of the evil alien, who likes fast cars, guns, heavy music and is set on taking over earth. Michael Nouri and Kyle MacLachlan works well as odd cop colleagues. Gotta love Claudia Christian, a major stunner for sure. “The Hidden” is violent, but I reckon it fits with the storyline. And yes, the FX is a bit wobbly, but that´s ok, there´s not that much in it so it doesn´t disturb the pattern of movie. I like as well the ending with Gallagher giving life to Beck and thus becoming Beck and in the process has a wife and daughter yet again. (4 out of 5)

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In 2259, the starship USS Enterprise is on a survey mission to the planet Nibiru, studying a primitive culture. Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) attempt to save the planet’s inhabitants from a volcanic eruption. When Spock’s life is endangered, Kirk violates the Prime Directive in order to save him, exposing the Enterprise to the native inhabitants, a decision with which Spock disagrees. Returning to Earth, Kirk loses command of the Enterprise and Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) is reinstated as its commanding officer. Pike manages to convince Admiral Marcus to allow Kirk to continue as his first officer on the Enterprise, rather than being sent back to the Academy. Meanwhile, a secret Section 31 installation in London is bombed by a renegade Starfleet officer, Commander John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). During a meeting of Starfleet commanders to discuss the situation, Harrison attacks in a jumpship, killing Pike. Kirk disables the jumpship, but Harrison uses a prototype portable transwarp transporter device to escape to Kronos, the Klingon homeworld, knowing Starfleet would be unable to follow. Fleet Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) orders the Enterprise to hunt and kill Harrison, arming them with 72 prototype photon torpedoes, shielded and untraceable to sensors…

“Star Trek – Into Darkness” is the second movie in the reboot franchise and this is even a notch better than the first one in my eyes. It´s simply a great action-adventure in space mixing humour, emotional aspects, action, love, death and friendship. I do love what JJ. Abrams have done with the Star Trek universe, most likely to the dismay of Trekkies. I think the casting is near perfect for all the major roles as it was in the first as well and it´s such great ensemble piece. However, I feel that Cumberbatch is a bit too theatrical in his performance at times, but at the same time he manages to add several layers to Khan. You can´t get away from the fact that there´s a solid connection to modern day terrorism in Khan and his actions plus with visuals closely connected to 9/11, it´s even more apparent. It´s a visually stunning film and I found myself jumping in my seat of joy due to this. I can´t bloody wait for the third one… (4 out of 5)

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After a dying Voodoo queen, Mama Loa, chooses an adopted apprentice, Lisa Fortier (Pam Grier) as her successor, her arrogant son and true heir, Willis, (Richard Lawson) is outraged. Seeking revenge, he buys the bones of Mamuwalde the vampire from the former shaman of the voodoo cult, and uses voodoo to resurrect the vampire to do his bidding. However, while it brings Mamuwalde (William Marshall) back to life, he quickly bites Willis upon awakening. Willis now finds himself in a curse of his own doing: made into a vampire hungering for blood and, ironically, a slave to the very creature he sought to control. Meanwhile, Justin Carter (Don Mitchell), an ex-police officer with a large collection of acquired African antiquities and an interest in the occult, begins to investigate the murders caused by Mamuwalde and his growing vampire horde. Justin meets Mamuwalde at a party Justin hosts to display the African collection pieces before being moved to the University’s museum. They discuss the artifacts, unbeknown to anyone else, that were from the region of Africa Mamuwalde hails from, including pieces of jewelry once worn by his late wife Luva. Mamuwalde also meets Justin’s girlfriend, Lisa Fortier, at the party and he discovers that Lisa is naturally adept at voodoo. Lisa discovers Mamuwalde´s true nature after a friend of hers, Gloria, falls victim to his bite and resurrected as a vampire who nearly feeds on her if not for Mamuwalde’s intervention. He later asks her for help to cure him of his vampire curse…

I have never seen this 1973 blaxploitation horror film, but I wanted to due to Pam Grier´s participation as Lisa. I reckon this suits the genre with an afroamerican Dracula, despite the fact that the pace is slow, the action is sparse and the acting is slightly wobbly and so are the effects. I reckon we are used to see Pam Grier as a bad ass on revenge, but here she has a much softer role and she shows her acting skills from that angle as well. And she´s stunning as always. “Scream Blacula Scream” is intriguing if you are into blaxploitation. (3 out of 5)

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Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) is a typical high school nerd living in Arizona. He has spent all summer mowing lawns to save up for a telescope. However, at a moment of opportunity he makes a deal with the popular cheerleader Cynthia “Cindy” Mancini (Amanda Peterson) to “rent” her for $1,000. She agrees so that she can afford to replace a suede outfit she got red wine all over at a party. It belonged to her mother and she hadn’t received permission to borrow it. Having few options except telling her mom the truth, she reluctantly agrees to help him look “cool” by pretending to be his girlfriend for a month even though she already has a boyfriend named Bobby who is away at college. Both agree never to reveal the pact.Ronald then trades his nerdy-but-loyal friends for the shallow popular students and undergoes a complete clothing and hair makeover at Cindy’s direction. Over the month the two discover each other’s individuality and are drawn closely together. Cindy soon starts to genuinely like Ronald. However, Ronald is deep into the pact and can´t see that he actually has a chance with Cindy. By the end of the month they dramatically “break up” in front of a crowd at school but Ronald takes things too far and says some hurtful things about Cindy in front of their friends. Ronald is out on thin ice with his new act, dismissing his old friends and doing whatever it takes to continue to be part of the cool high school crowd…

“Can’t Buy Me Love” belongs to list of good 80s high school movies, presenting a great mix of comedy, recognition factor and emotional depth in my eyes. We can all relate to Ronald in one way or another and those years in your life can be hard without no doubt. The wish to belong, the wish to be loved and the wish to be seen did lurk constantly in the back of your mind back then. Patrick Dempsey aces the role as Ronald and Amanda Peterson is doing a great job as well. “Can’t Buy Me Love” is also one of those high school movies you can see again and again, due to the fact it´s well made and believable. Thumbs up. (4 out of 5)

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