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The Humanity Bureau (2017) Directed by Rob W. King





Nicolas Cage his "Blade Runner 2049" (and yes, it is just as bad and ridicules as that sounds). At least, that is what they were going for. Well, I guess they were, since I am really not too sure what they were going for exactly. As a whole, it is quite messy as a movie and it lacks a clear direction and engaging enough main plot line. Not that the movie is confusing, it is just bad and incredibly poorly constructed.

Watching this movie is a real task, which is not only due to the fact that it lacks a clear direction or solid enough main story, but also because it really isn't much fun to watch, which is especially disappointing for a movie that is trying to be a science-fiction movie, set in a dystopian future.

A big problem for this movie is that it lacks a good enough treat in it. There is never a sense of danger or despair, even though the movie supposedly is set in a world where humanity is seriously threatened by global warming. I also really don't think that this movie adds much good to the cause, in regards to the current global warming situation, even though the intentions for it were clearly there.

There is not a big enough treat from its 'world', which obviously is really due to the fact how poorly it is set up. The movie absolutely never feels or looks like it is set in the remote future and it also makes absolutely no attempt to ever impress you with any of its visuals or to explain its 'world' to you. The movie mostly involves Nicolas Cage sitting in- and driving around in his car, with some terrible green screen effects behind him. Something James Bond did far better and more convincing (well OK, maybe not), during the '60's and '70's.

This also shows you how terrible uneventful this movie actually is. There are a few action sequences, but it is all quite laughable to be honest. Terribly formulaic, as well as incredibly poorly directed. Its low budget really can't be an excuse in this case, since the movie clearly could have done more to either excite or entertain its viewers.

Nicolas Cage is a funny guy. He has had his fair share of great roles and movies, as well as a boatload of terrible roles, in absolutely laughable movies, while always overacting, but never being a bad actor per se as well. He honestly also isn't too bad in this movie, though his character is incredibly flat and uninteresting. He is far from the worst actor in this movie though. All other actors in this movie unfortunately really perform below par and it is always dangerous for a movie to feature a kid actor in a pretty big and significant role. Jakob Davies really isn't up to the task and he delivers just about all of his dialog in a far from convincing way.

The villain, always an important aspect for a movie such as this, is also a terribly disappointing one. Again, a far too formulaic, without a clear enough motivation and purpose in this movie. Maybe I simply zoned out while watching it, but I can assure you that that would have been all due to the movie, that absolutely failed to ever grab me with either its story and characters or any of its events.

It is a poorly handled mess, that offers nothing good really.

3/10

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Alien Convergence (2017) Directed by Rob Pallatina





The title sounds like "Alien: Covenant", the cover looks like "Alien: Covenant". That can all only mean one thing; The Asylum is at it again!

It is funny though. Even though this is a clear attempt at trying to cash in on the 'succes' of "Alien: Covenant", the movie itself is ripping off a whole bunch of recent science-fiction movies, except for "Alien: Covenant". It is actually more a cheap "Pacific Rim" rip-off, about dragons (I guess) who came from space to destroy the Earth. The movie is just as ridicules and bad as sounds. However, if you are into this silly and bad stuff, there still is a great chance you are going to enjoy it.

I for one definitely am able to enjoy a movie such as this, though there absolutely is no way I would call it a good movie as well. It is bad, but that luckily doesn't take away anything from its amusement. It is the type of movie that becomes entertaining to watch, just because of how bad and ridicules it gets at times.

It is also always funny and amazing how these movies often follow the same templates and all of the characters are much alike. These movies often feature a strong female lead in it, who still are scared by something and vulnerable as well. There also isn't ever much story though and it basically is a movie about survival, from some kind of monstrous thread or natural disaster, while never feeling any of the dread, urgency and despair. It is all incredibly shallow, simplistic and predictable. Nothing comes as a surprise and the movie is basically devoid of any sort of depth and emotions. Really, I don't even remember any of the character's names.

Its straightforwardness and simplicity at the same time remains the one thing that also still makes the movie somewhat fun and entertaining to watch though. It never really slows down for any drama or distracting side-plots. There is plenty of action and pace to this movie, though at the same time the action is hardly anything impressive to look at. The special effects are ridiculously bad and half of the time I don't even know what is going on in the movie. It all feels very random and hard to care about, due to the way how things get told and shot like.

I still yet never hated watching this movie, but that is just me of course. Bad and silly movies often are enjoyable in their own, special, kind of way, but it clearly is something most people are not going to enjoy watching. And I really can't blame most people for that. After all, it is bad...

4/10

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Acts of Vengeance (2017) Directed by Isaac Florentine





One of the things I never understood was how, why and when Antonio Banderas stopped being relevant and stopped to appear in decent movies. He was quite the star and presence back in the day, capable of handling action, adventure as well as drama. His movies often weren't just good, but mostly also very enjoyable to watch. Besides, he always had a great screen presence and undeniable has some real charisma to him, with his sensual look and accent. So what is he up to nowadays? Mostly low-key stuff such as this movie, while still being very much Antonio Banderas. He just stopped appearing in awesome stuff though, which is a real shame and it is doubtful that this movie is going to mark his great comeback.

Like most movies, this one isn't particularly bad, but it isn't one you going to remember much, a couple of weeks after seeing it. It is not just formulaic, but also a movie that fails to make much of an impression with anything. Not with its story, not with its characters, not with its action. It is a bad of an odd and unsuccessful mishmash of different genres, that never gel.

It is not quite thrilling enough for a thriller, not action-packed or well paced enough for an action flick and it lacks all of the right emotions and credible enough developments for a drama. I also can't really tell what this movie was going for. At times its more of a stupid action-flick, while at others it tries to be like a surprising thriller and at others it is definitely trying to throw some more emotions and drama into the mix. There is never a good enough balance for anything to ever work out successful enough.

It is especially bad and disappointing how this movie never seems to have a good- or very pleasant flow to it. Things never progress naturally enough and the movie too often either goes too fast or too slow with its story. At times it feels like the story is moving forward too fast with things, which goes at the expense of its credibility and emotions, while at others it feels like the movie comes at a standstill.

The main character also never really works out because of this. It just doesn't feel very natural or convincing how the the Banderas character goes from being an office worker to being an action hero, capable of taking down any enemy, with confidence and without any fear regardless of his size or weapons that he is carrying. The character never goes through any convincing enough transitions, which again is mostly due to the absence of good emotions and a solid enough pace. Things mostly just happen in this movie, without having much of an effect on you, in terms of making you feel engaged or emotionally involved with anyone or anything that is happening on the screen.

But really, it is never a truly terrible movie to watch neither. It is just incredibly bland and mostly very predicable as well. This movie hardly offers any surprises and it also isn't trying very hard to knock you out of your socks with anything. It also totally fails to grab you, which is a big part of the reason why this movie is ultimately nothing more but an extremely forgettable one.

Not a movie that I would ever recommend to anyone.

5/10

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November Criminals (2017) Directed by Sacha Gervasi





This has a lot of the marking of a great movie, but yet it is nothing more but 'just' a good one. A shame, since it really still does a lot of things right and so easily could have been an absolutely great one, instead of the forgettable and eventual disappointing movie that it is.

It actually is a very original movie, in a lot of ways. An original and intriguing story, some surprising main characters and angles. Still the movie fails to make much of an impact with its story, since it too often lacks a clear direction and never has the guts to take things far enough. It isn't a very gutsy movie, while it had plenty of opportunities to turn into one. It however decides to remain as tame and simplistic as possible with its story, which is fine, but also definitely goes at the expense of the movie its overall quality. It prevents the movie from ever becoming truly tense, surprising and engaging.

The movie still starts off really solid and interesting. It however soon start to become apparent that the movie just doesn't really know what to do with its story, and worse, how to end things. It is all some pretty decent and engaging build up, without a very satisfying payoff. Pointless isn't the right word, but it definitely is a very fruitless movie. It remains on the right track for a very long time, but then suddenly decides to take some turns that aren't heading into the most interesting or effective of directions.

Yet all of this doesn't make this movie a terrible one to watch. It just makes it a disappointing one, since it showed so much more potential. Good news though that it still remains a perfectly watchable movie. Like I said, it still picks an interesting and original enough story, that maybe isn't always going into the most interesting direction with things, but it still makes the movie an intriguing enough one. It besides get made believable by its fine cast, who really brings the movie to live and helps to elevate it.

With Ansel Elgort, Chloƫ Grace Moretz, Catherine Keener and David Strathairn it has a quite big and impressive cast of fine actors. It is a real actors movie, in the sense that most of the tension and emotions come from the acting, rather than the actual writing. It is also definitely the acting and not necessarily the writing that makes this movie such a perfectly fine one to watch, with some solid enough characters in it.

A movie that lacks some clear direction at times and a solid enough point by the end of it, but it overall still remains a decent enough drama/thriller, with some interesting and original enough angles to it.

6/10

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Base (2017) Directed by Richard Perry





Just a bunch of base jumpers trying to fund their expensive hobby by making this movie. That is how this movie comes across to me. It is not even really a movie, since there is no true story, no solid emotions and no good characters.

It is a 'cheap' and fairly simple attempt at making a movie. It uses the 'found footage' approach and angle, which means that nothing got shot with the help of any professional camera's or had a big crew involved with it. Guess that using this approach makes sense for a movie centered around base jumpers, but having a bunch of base jumpers walking- and flying around with some cameras attached to them does not make for a good or very interesting movie as well.

Actually the most surprising thing about this movie remains the fact how terribly uneventful it is. Basejumping seems spectacular and daring, but yet it never comes across like that in this movie. It never gets your adrenaline pumping, which is due to its lack of buildup and use of camera's. Some more wide-shots were really needed at times to put things in perspective. It just isn't all that fun or thrilling to see any of the actors flying around and yelling, with a bunch of empty sky and often rocks around them. Needless to see that the movie also becomes pretty repetitive to watch after a while. There really isn't all that much variety in it and it still is luckily that the movie is only about 80 minutes short.

Things also never get made interesting by its story or any of its characters. It really doesn't have a clear beginning, middle and end to it. Of maybe rather said; it lacks a clear point. I also really don't know what this movie was going for. Was it simply trying to be fun and spectacular? Or was it trying to be something more serious and profound as well. That would explain the tedious philosophical approach and lines of dialog to the movie, while there is absolutely nothing profound about anything that happens on the screen. It fails to suck you in with its story and to give you an interesting enough look into the live- and dangers of the average base jumper.

All of the 'actors' in this movie are clearly first and foremost professional base jumpers, which means that there acting is below par, to put it mildly. It doesn't help much that the movie features a whole bunch of weird sounding accents in it. Something about too many different accents in a movie that makes it terribly unappealing. You also really don't get to know much about any of them, which doesn't help to make you understand them or ever feel for any of them. It also doesn't make you 'feel' and understand the world that they live in. I am sure that being a base jumper is a very thrilling and dangerous lifestyle, but I got none of that by watching this movie.

Never interesting or entertaining enough. Clearly not a very recommendable movie to watch.

4/10

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24 Hours to Live (2017) Directed by Brian Smrz





At first glance this would seem like a decent enough genre attempt. I mean, an action/thriller starring the likes of Ethan Hawke and Rutger Hauer in it? That should at least be entertaining to watch right? Well, yes and no. It is not a terrible movie to watch, but it ain't exactly one you are going to remember much about, a couple of weeks after seeing it.

Good news is that this is a pretty well made movie. At least visually it is. It has a nice, modern and slick action movie look to it, with some good editing and also some pretty decent action moments in it. It isn't fully- or a very typical action flick though. You should see it more as a fast paced thriller, that just happens to feature some action in it as well.

The story has all the markings of a typical fast paced action-thriller in it. A man on the run/a mission, a couple of backstabbing characters, some twists. It is however like I said a far from typical movie as well though. The concept of the movie gets used in a pretty original way, though things tend to get a bit convoluted at times. It is one of those movies that isn't necessarily clever or hard to follow at times due to its story, but more because of the way things get told. It is all being a bit needlessly complicated at times and there are one or two too many distractions in its story, that in the end don't really add anything.

It all really doesn't make this the most fun movie to watch. The movie remains stuck somewhere between being an entertaining one and a more serious and straightforward thriller. It doesn't always manage to find a right and effective balance between all of its action and story-elements. This all definitely goes at the expense of the movie its watchability.

Things still manage to work out a bit more interesting and entertaining because of the fine actors in the movie, who really bring their characters to live. Ethan Hawke is always pretty good at playing likable- and engaging enough everyday characters and he also doesn't disappoint in this movie. It besides is fun to see Rutger Hauer in a fairly big and more serious production again, though his role certainly isn't anything too special. The movie on the other hand luckily also has some pretty decent villains in it, as often really is needed for movies of this sort.

Never the most engaging movie to watch and it pretends to be more clever and original than it in fact truly is, but it at the same time still remains a pretty decent and entertaining enough little genre attempt, starring some fine actors in it.

5/10

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Singularity (2017) Directed by Robert Kouba





This movie is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand it is a pretty decent attempt, considering its budget and limited resources, but on the other it still makes some poor choices and never fully succeeds at becoming anything too original or interesting.

Best way to describe this movie would be by calling it an odd "The Matrix", "Blade Runner" and "The Hunger Games" hybrid. Maybe sounds awesome to some, but by saying this I mean to say that it really isn't the most creative or original movie around. It 'borrows' heavily from other science-fiction movies, without ever doing anything truly original of its own with it. And maybe all of that still would have been fine, as long as the movie would have been an engaging and entertaining one of its own. That however isn't entirely the case for this movie though.

It actually starts off fairly well and interesting enough with its story and visuals, but once it becomes apparent who its main characters are and what its main story is all about, the movie starts to downhill. It is a movie with a bigger than life story in it, about an apocalypse, yet the movie its story feels very 'small', by only focusing on an handful of character and by never really showing any destruction or despair. Everyhing that happens in this movie feels without any real consequences. It is therefore also never the most tense or engaging one to watch.

I was especially disappointed with its main characters. They aren't the most interesting or best developed one and they also aren't exactly played by the world's most talented actors. I would have been fine with it if the movie focused a bit more on the John Cusack character, who basically is the main villain of the movie, but hardly gets to do anything. At least his character seemed interesting, with a plan and clear motivations. None of which can be said about its main characters and 'heroes'.

The movie never succeeds at it to make its story remotely interesting and engaging. It is all a bit too straightforward and simplistic, without ever offering you any surprises.

It still remains a pretty decent looking movie. It is true that there is a disappointing amount of action in it, but it in a lot of ways is simply more of a science-fiction- than an action movie, which is fine really. Visually this movie has plenty to offer. The special effects really aren't anything too bad, at least not by low-budget movie standards. There are some questionable shots, but it never goes full CGI on you, which is a good thing in my book.

I never hated watching this movie, which probably is the most positive thing that I can say about it. It isn't particularly entertaining, spectacular or engaging to watch, but it is really far from the worst thing you will ever see.

5/10

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Ryde (2016) Directed by Brian Frank Visciglia





Great concept but a real lacking execution. That pretty much sums up this movie, that isn't a terrible one to watch, but never a particularly interesting or effective one neither.

An Uber driver that is a serial killer as well. Makes perfect sense to me. It is never a problem to get people in your car and drive off to a remote location to kill them off. A perfect M.O. and a great sounding concept for a movie. But well, that is all it is really; a great sounding concept. The movie fails to ever make things tense, surprising or engaging enough to watch. making this an overall pretty shallow and forgettable viewing experience.

First of all, the main character just doesn't work out too well for the movie. It is one of those movies that follows its killer around and makes him the main character, which can work out as great and effective at times, but just not for this movie. It never succeeds in making its main character an interesting enough one. You really don't get to know anything about the main character. You don't know who he is, you don't know why he kills. You really don't know what makes him tick, so to speak. Besides, he never shows any emotions or goes through any interesting enough transitions. It just isn't a very well developed character, that besides lacks all of the right charisma and character trades to make him an interesting enough one to have to follow around. It doesn't help much that the acting in the movie isn't the most impressive to watch, though the script should be blamed for that as well.

The fact that the movie simply just follows its main character around also ensures that nothing else ever really develops. There isn't even a real story and it just feels like a random bunch of events that don't even really connect to each other. The movie besides starts to repeat itself pretty early on already. I mean, the driver picks up a person, drives him/her to a location and then kills that person. How many times do we need to see that to know that the main character is a bad person? There isn't enough variety in the movie and it does far too little to ever change things around or spice things up a little bit more.

It even isn't a very good as a thriller/slasher. It does a poor job building up the tension and the killings aren't all that creative or fun to watch neither. Pretty standard stuff all, that isn't going to excite any gore/slasher lovers. It however is mostly the lack of any good build up that makes this movie a mostly uninteresting one, deprived of any good suspense. The lack of variety further more ads to it that the movie just never becomes the most interesting or surprising one neither.

I still wouldn't call the movie boring as well though. All things considering, it still remains a pretty well made and good looking movie. The script and build up are lacking, but the movie still has a very professional look and feel to it, that helps to make the movie a 'pleasant' one to look at. I wasn't never bored or angered by this movie, even while I most definitely wasn't ever fully entertained by it either. It remains a watchable- and its core also still an original enough, little movie to watch, that isn't going to make a big impression on you though.

5/10

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Hickok (2017) Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.




Only a few things more painful than a movie that tries to be something that it just isn't. Instead of being a gritty and realistic western epic, this is nothing more but a weak- and even somewhat of an amateur-like attempt at a western.

Just about everything about this movie is weak. The writing, the acting, the settings, the action, the characters. Really, I could go on and on. I also just can't imaging any western lovers going to end up liking this movie. On the contrary. It lacks everything that makes a western great and distinguishable.

That to me was the main problem with this movie; it in no way, shape or form looks or ever remotely feels like a western. The movie has a far too modern, slick and clean look. Nothing raw, nothing dirty and therefore also most definitely nothing realistic about this movie. Nothing wrong with taking a different approach to a genre, but it in this case really doesn't work out with its story, characters and settings. Besides, it makes the movie look cheap, though there are plenty of other elements that are responsible for this.

It actually is a pretty clumsy movie. The directing is definitely lacking and it fails to ever provide the movie with a proper enough pace and to ever make things both interesting and engaging to watch. Not just the director's fault of course, but the lacking directing most definitely contributes to the fact that the movie just feels 'off' and nothing about it ever works out very well. There is never a pleasant flow to things and nothing really ever seems to develop within its story. It besides is all quite lackluster, so please don't except any gun fights or horseback chases.

Like basically all westerns; the main story is a pretty basic and straightforward one, that builds and relies heavily on its main character. Problem however is that the main character isn't a very interesting one to begin with. He isn't even all that likable and besides poorly developed. Luke Hemsworth also just didn't seem right for the role. Next to simply just not being a very impressive actor, he also lacked the right sort of charisma and star power to carry this movie. It is amazing to me how many great and well known other actors decided to show up in this movie. Bruce Dern, Kris Kristofferson, I am looking at you. What on Earth are you doing in this movie?

The story fails to leave much of an impression. Like I said, most of this has to do with its main character, but it obviously doesn't help much that there just isn't ever anything good or interesting happening within the movie its story. This is nothing too uncommon for a western actually, but usually there still are some other elements present in it, such as a good villain, spectacular- or raw impressive moments, to compensate for this and make things still either enjoyable or engaging enough to watch, but this movie lacks all of it. It is not fun, it is never engaging, not spectacular and most certainly not very memorable as a movie.

A real failed western, with a lacking script, weak characters, none to little action and some below average directing. It is best to avoid to movie, even- or perhaps especially, if you are really into westerns.

4/10

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Mother Krampus (2017) Directed by James Klass




Now, who doesn't love a good Christmas slasher? Something about the holiday's that make people hungry for blood, I guess.

But seriously, holiday slashers often work out well conceptional because they often take an 'innocent' subject, that everybody has fond memories off from their childhood, and turns it into something shocking and bloody. It is very contrasting and conflicting, which makes things interesting. Thing that is also true about holiday slashers though is that rarely any of them are truly that great to watch, this one including.

Can't even really say this is much of a holiday slasher. It is disappointing how it barely uses any Christmas themes and elements in it. Certainly no Christmas like look or feeling to this movie and it just seems like a gimmick to let things appear more interesting and original than they in fact truly are.

As a matter of fact, I can't even say that this is much of a slasher even. I at times genuinely forget that I was watching a slasher her, since it is constantly focusing on some personal drama and character development as well, which is fine and gives the movie plenty of depth, but it at the same time really distracts from its horror and ensures that the more serious and the more slasher- and horror like elements of the movie never gel.

You also have to remember though that this is an English production, which means that it is never as fast paced or slick looking as an American/Hollywood production. Once you are OK with this, the movie does become a quite good and original one enough to watch, though it is still certainly lacking in the horror department.

The movie also shows that using violence and gore in your movie isn't as easy as it might seem. The movie tries to shock with its gore, but it is all quite fake and bad looking. Again, it works out as too distracting from the movie and it certainly doesn't enhances its horror. It actually has a pretty decent main villain and concept in it, but it is too bad that it doesn't really how to use it. Seems to me that the film-makers are better at doing drama than horror. It is also as if the movie was too afraid to take its horror elements too seriously. It is therefore more a silly movie than a shocking or scary one, when it comes down to all of its horror.

The acting also isn't anything too great, but the drama and approach of the movie still ensures that the characters work out well enough and the movie remains an interesting enough one to watch, all throughout. The approach also definitely ensures that it is original enough one, though I doubt that too many horror lovers are going to end up liking this movie.

Watchable enough, as long as you don't expect a typical and gory slasher flick.

5/10

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Immigration Game (2017) Directed by Krystof Zlatnik




Luckily this is a pretty enjoyable movie, but other than that, it really isn't anything too special to watching, despite a fascinating and original sounding premise.

This is a pretty unique movie, but that is mainly because it is being such an unusual. Well, I say that it is original, but it still obviously 'borrows' heavily from a ton of movies and can best be described as a "The Hunger Games", "The Purge" and "The Warriors" hybrid, while still combining all of these movie elements in a pretty original enough way. Sounds absolutely awesome and perfect, but the movie in fact is being far from perfect though.

The main problem with this movie is its style. I just don't really know what this movie is trying to be like. It on the one hand picks a very realistic and gritty approach with its violence, look and overall story approach, but on the other hand the story also features some heavily exaggerated characters and situations in it, that can't be considered to be realistic at all. The approach of the movie clashes with its story at times, which makes it hard to watch at times. Does the movie want you to be shocked or to be entertained? I can't tell you, since I myself am confused about this, at multiple points throughout the movie.

Seems to me that this movie started off as a serious project, with also a deeper and more meaningful message behind things, but during production it became obvious to the film-makers that making a more entertaining was far more easy- and fun to do. It is a bit messy and really not the most consistent movie around, but at the same time I am also still glad that by the end they picked a more entertaining approach to things, since I definitely still was entertained by all of it.

Thing that it also very consistent with though is its language. It is weird how this movie keeps switching back and forth between German and English. There really isn't much logic behind it, other than also trying to appeal to a more international crowd. The acting also isn't anything too impressive, but that really doesn't matter too much, since the movie never gets too serious with any of the drama or other emotions. After all, what starts off as a pretty serious and intense movie eventually turns into nothing more but a pretty stupid, yet entertaining, one. No need for the actors to act very convincing, or handle some heartfelt emotions.

It luckily also is a very good looking movie. Quite appealing looking actually and certainly not like any other typical low-budget production, shot somewhere in Europe. It makes it on the one hand a very well directed movie, but on the other still a bit of a messy and too simplistic one.

This movie certainly is a mixed bag, but in the end I still ended up being entertained by it, which makes it an OK on in my book.

6/10

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Arg Stairs (2017) Directed by Kyle Romanek




Coming up with a good idea is one thing, but turning it into a good movie is a totally different story, as this movie clearly demonstrates.

This sounds like a movie with a good- and fun enough premise, about a caveman inventing the concept of using stairs. Sounds greatly original and entertaining for a movie and indeed it is, but when the movie doesn't give you much else, things just aren't as good and entertaining as you would expect it to turn out as.

This also most definitely is more an amateur movie than just another low-budget one really. It isn't the most professional looking movie, which can be quite distracting at times. It is especially annoying how the caveman- and woman look, behave and sound (like I would know how cave-people would sound like) like cave-people. It probably was intentional, since after all; this is a comedy, but the whole 'world' and 'rules' of the movie just didn't do it for me. It was far too distracting how clean and toned all of the actors in this movie looked and how all of them behaved like they were walking around in a 21th century setting.

It is not a terribly uninteresting or unappealing movie to watch, but it at the same time remains disappointing how little good this movie came up with. The story never takes things into an unexpected or too great direction. The comedy and dialog is especially weak and disappointing at parts. It also too often ensures that the movie drags and gets filled with some pointless story developments that in the end don't really add anything.

The movie also doesn't have the best acting in it. Some of the characters are amusing, but most of them are just weak and uninteresting. This unfortunately also goes for the main character of the movie, who isn't really charismatic and 'strong' enough to carry this movie.

But like I said; it still never becomes a too terrible movie to watch. It is some very simple but harmless fun. I can still see how some people would enjoy this movie, though I am also convinced that by far most people are going to dislike watching it. The story, comedy and dialog, among other things, is far too lacking to ever make this s genuinely good and successful genre attempt. Still willing to give it plenty of credit as well, seeing how this basically is nothing but an amateur production, made by 'non-professionals' and without much money.

5/10

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Christmas Crime Story (2017) Directed by Richard Friedman




There are two sides to this movie. On the one hand its all quite amateur-like, but on the other it at the same time is quite successful at what it is trying to achieve.

It is obvious to me what this movie is trying to do and be like. It is being one of those intertwined stories movies, such as "21 Grams" and "Crash". Something that has been attempted by many film-makers and was quite popular for a while. And trust me when I say that I have seen plenty of genre attempts, of which, by far the most, are some very unsuccessful and unimpressive attempts, mainly because the story lines don't really connect in an either effective or convincing enough way. That really isn't a problem with this movie though, which is about the biggest compliment I can give it.

It is actually amazing how well written this movie is. All of the story lines make sense and don't come across as anything too forced or too coincidental. I wish they also would have spend some more time on the dialog though. The dialog is something that makes this movie quite bad and tiresome to watch at parts. It never feels like anything too realistic and too often goes far too long, without ever turning into anything interesting.

It is also true that the dialog comes across as wooden and dull at parts because of the lacking acting. It is a shame, since there actually is no doubt in my mind that this movie would have worked out as a far more solid and convincing one if only it had some better actors in it. This is the type of movie that really could have used 2 or 3 real big name actors in it, to elevate things to a greater height.

It is very obvious though that this movie didn't had the type of budget to afford any big name- or better actors in it. I would even say that this movie borderlines an amateur project at times. It really feels and looks that way, with its musical score and lacking editing at parts. It is a well made- but at times still a very clumsy movie. Doesn't mean that I am not interested in Richard Friedman's future projects though. He is a great writer and storyteller and it would be interesting to see what he can do with a bigger budget.

And does the inclusion of Christmas elements add anything? Not really, though it still is a nice original little touch. It certainly isn't your typical Christmas movie, though by the end it is still fair to say that it is a very typical Christmas movie, with some very typical Christmas messages and touches to it.

It is a movie that I really appreciated watching, though at the same time I still can't call it an absolutely good one as well, which really is mostly due to its budget restraints, unfortunately.

6/10

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