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Vivarium (2019)
3/10
promising start ...
29 March 2020
... ruined by how the story ends, so i kinda felt punished for sticking thruh the whole 90 minutes. Might have been okay as a twilightzoneish 30min short but for a feature lenght movie, meh ... wouldnt watch it again.
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Bloodshot (2020)
4/10
Bad mashup of old iconic movies
25 March 2020
Bad version of universal soldier & robocop, i dont mind seeing vin diesel in an action movie, guy pearce was nice to see too even so he played a similiar role already much better in iron man kind of, but this was rather average for both of them, if it werent for the hot side chick i probably would have been bored much more. cg and prop-design was okay but the problem is really that we already have seen movies like this back in the days when this was something new and cool, right now, meh, not original enough, seems like a bad copy that we have seen already. sorry vin.
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No One's Son (2008)
7/10
An amputy war veteran finds out that his childhood was not what it seemed
21 March 2020
I watched this movie rather late in 2020 even so it is from 2008, the reason for that was simply because i watched more recent war-themed croatian movies which where underwhelming so i was keeping an eye out if i could find something that is actually good for croatian standards, and i did like this for the most part except the last third was very very constructed, especially the end.

Niciji sin has great cinematography for croatian standards and the few war-scenes were more believable than what i have seen recently (considering that this movie is by the time of reviewing already 12y old).

Actor Alen Liveric is awesome, great performance while all other actors are good too but basically play themselves like they do in other movies. But Liveric is really memorable in this one. Playing an ampute that lost both limbs was very well solved in this movie, considering that VFX is not croatian movies strongest side, here they solve it very good with a camera angles, a body double and a single vfx-shot to make it believable enough.

This movie is a one-time-watch drama, i dont compare it to movies from 2020 hence my rating is more like if i had seen it in the year of its making in comparsion to all other croatian movies of that time.
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No Man's Land (I) (2001)
7/10
Anti-War Message wraped in Black Satire
13 March 2020
Nearly 20years old this movie holds up to even most recent productions from the balkans that deal with he balkan-war. Great cinematography and a script targeted to foreign audiences thanks to not so many inside-jokes that balkan-movies usually suffer from. The Oscar was maybe a little bit over the top, as deserved as Obamas nobelprize but than again, i assume they didnt had much of a competition back than. The only reason i rewatched it recently is because of the 25th aniversary of the end-of-war that sparked some new balkan-war-movies coming out that mostly ended up being worse than this one.
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10/10
Story worth to be told and known about
13 March 2020
Story worth to be told and known about, diaspora has never had enough media exposition in croatia it actually deserves in regard to the independence of croatia during the 90s, therefore i was suprised to find this documentary with its screenplay-aspects. Kikas is only one of the many diaspora croatians who ended up in prison for trying to smuggle arms to croatia during the war.

The screenplay parts are well made in regard to acting with a few exceptions (Gojko Susak character seemed to force himself NOT to say anything) but the main actor was very good in his role, ironically he is actually one of the very very few performances in croatian film who actually nailed the role of the person he is playing, even the way he talks english is very close to the real kikas, this actor actually tried to be authentic while most other croatian actors always play themselves no matter the role. The CGI-scenes where way off (scale of the migs and the cargo-plane) luckily there where only a few of them and no, its not about budget or hollywood, in 2016 thats something that just needs a talented vfx-artist with an eye for details! The screenplay-scenes seemed to be filtered to look like from the 90s, but felt more like the 70s, admitetly i found and watched this movie by accident on youtube in a lower quality (480p), therefore i could be wrong.

I give this documentary a very biased rating of 10, not that the story itself couldnt be filmed much better, it definetly could and SHOULD, this story is actually one that would work on an international level if done properly with profesional cinematography as a feature film, after all its about migrants who in there pursuit of prosperity still are somehow connected to their roots and origins, this is universally relatable to all migrants.

I am aware that Jakov Sedlar is controversial but than again the whole croatian media landscape is controversial and biased, if you want to disqualify one for this reason alone you have to disqualify all of them, the left will always trash the right and vice versa. Im also aware that the film is produced by the real Kikas himself, considering how the croatian film industrie is structured, a purely state funded mess, this only speaks for Kikas who once more shows how he is a talented business-man who is able to fund things by himself and not to be a burden to the croatian taxpayer.

My only beef with Jakov Sedlar is, he does find interessting topics, but im most of the time not sure about his intentions because im baffled how he hides all his productions, most of the time he shows it only in small selective screenings one time only but never officialy online, most of the time i find his productions years later by accident if some private person uploads it on youtube or similiar portals because theire is no offical way to get them. I always can find a lot of interviews of him talking about his movies but never the movies itself, not even half a year later, like for example his documentary-movie "3069" which i would like to watch somewhere easy accessible online, an important topic like this shouldnt be hidden away like this!

Dear Mr.Sedlar, whats the point of your documentaries if you dont show it to a bigger audience, as far as i understand your movies are "paid in advanced by sponsors" so to speak, you dont rely on ticket-sales afterwards, just put them online and use the interviews you appear in to tell the people where to find and watch them. In this age the majority of your audience sits in front of a screen and not in a regular theater!!!

I hope my rating of 10 encourages you to change your approach in the future.
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Jurassic Park (1993)
10/10
The movie that started the dinosaur and VFX hype alike
9 March 2020
Yes im biased about this movie, i have fond memories of it from my childhood, its one of the movies that got me interrested into CG and VFX even more. Considering the time when it was made, its a masterpiece that nowadays audience probably wont grasp in its entirety why it was a new milestone in moviemaking. That was superb fimmaking and spielberg and ILM hit a homerun with it.
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First Blood (1982)
10/10
Definetly an immortal Classic
9 March 2020
I love this movie and consider it still to be the best of the whole franchise, not only because of the action but beause of the plot. I like war related movies that depicts Veterans AFTER the war, when they meet the "war at home", too few movies are out there depicting this, not many tell their story as well as this one. Even now 40years later i have no issue giving this movie a 10, when i look at movies these days with all that evident digital VFX and bad plots, you just cherrish this old movies even more and how they are made. Sly at its best.
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The Postman (1997)
10/10
Costner at its best, i enjoy him acting in any postapocalytic movie
9 March 2020
This movie is awesome, i have a thing for postapocalyptic movies especially if they are made great which this one definetly is, i like it equaly as much as waterworld. Great script, great acting, wonderfully shot with superb sound and cinematography. It has a dancing with the wolves feel to it.

I wished Costner would make another postapocalyptic movie with a plot as interessting and versatile as this one.
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8/10
Enjoyed this movie very much ...
9 March 2020
... and Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell were perfectly cast for this one, i really enjoyed the chemistry between those to on screen. Great script, great cinematography, really nothing to complain about. Only reason i give it an 8 instead of a 10 is that the movie is a interessting one-time-watch feel good movie. To get a 10 it needs to be something i would willingly watch more than a dozen tomes. Nevertheless, really enjoyed it and "only" watched i 3 times so far.
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10/10
Classic SciFi-action-flick with great cast and great Humor
9 March 2020
10 years from now, people are going to watch this movie and it will dawn on them how nearly accurate some of the predections for the future where in this movie, from the believeable electric cars to being spyed on by devices that monitor everything you say, not far fetched that one day the same devices will be used to give you a ticket for hate speech that excludes your First Amendment Rights. LOL

I liked the cast in this one very much, from sandra bullock, to sly to snipes and all the others did a great job too, they dont make movies like this anymore but i do enjoy watching it everytime it runs on TV.

I urge everyone to watch this if you havent already, it will make you chuckle, from the plot to the acting to the point where you compare how technology and society evolved since the making of this movie.
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Waterworld (1995)
10/10
One of Kevin Costners greatest movies
9 March 2020
Im a fan of Kevin Costner, especially his post-apocalyptic movies are awesome (Postmen is one of my favourite). Back than this movie was already ridiculed before it came out because one of the expensive set-pieces sunk during a storm, therefore the budget for this movie exploded because they had to rebuild it all again and that alone made bad press and somehow stuck to the movie because audiences just repeated the bad press parrot-fashion and it seemed to be IN to bash this movie.

Let me tell you, building real set pieces is something that todays movies lack, therefore they rarely appear believable likein this production. Kudos to the producers for probably being the last one to do it that way.

I give this movie highest ranking, the way it is shot captivates me today as well as it did back than when i watched it as a kid. Great acting, action, stunts and cinematography and the great Dennis Hopper is worth to watch it again and again.

I wished Kevin Costner would make another post-apocalyptic movie which isnt far off considering the mess thats going on in the world, certainly gives a lot of material to come up with a great script.

Watch this movie if you haven yet, ignore the haters.
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Success (2019– )
8/10
Zagreb city, good acting and nice cinematography
4 March 2020
Superb acting, superb cinematography, i really like how they filmed zagreb and how they used drones to establish the locations. Rebro Hospital never looked so inviting. Sadly, the script, like with most croatian movies, not so superb and messes up at the end, already after ep1 the story seems very constructed and proceeds even more "artifical" from the middle on, nevertheless i watched the whole series in two days just to see how it ends.

Things that didnt work for me is how quick viktors father, a criminal kingpin, didnt appear anymore in the series after beginning of ep4, if someone was intensivly working on finding his sons killer it should have been him and his armada of thugs, even in the case that he is imprisoned one should think he is pulling the strings from inside the prison, he has a hunch that his sons ex-girlfriend knows something, you would think that therefore he permanently has a tail on her. Yes kiki admited later to the police on phone that he killed viktors son and ended up dead afterwards, that should made viktors father as suspicious as it should have made the police suspicious because of "motive".

The fact that a realestate-mogul made his own hands dirty by killing one of the main-characters (kiki) with a headshoot, even tho he has its own people for that kind of work (like we could see at the start of the movie), it seemed out of place and out of character. Same is true for the female police-officer who avenges the death of her sister which coincidentaly was a victim of the same realestate-mogul.

The same realestate-mogul at the end of the series seems, all of a sudden, to have one of the lousiest securities money can buy on his own party and ends being shoot by the suspended police officer on the rooftop. This plotholes (and others) just didnt sit well with me. Nevertheless the cinematograph was fine at the end, but that doesnt excuse a bad script.

Now its easy the criticise without making suggestions how to do it differently, out of my head i wonder if the plot could have been improved by letting our 4 protagonists frame and deceive the badyguys (kingpin/realestate-mogul) in a way so that they end up eliminating each other. I liked how navojec portraied the kingping and he did remind me of the kingpin in the punisher tv-series.

Some memorable mentions:

I believe this is the first time i have seen Leon Lucev without a beard, with a clean shave and a nice hair cut he really looks like a total different person, i know him from the movies "teret" and "muskarci ne placu", very fine actor and brilliantly portraid the police chief.

Toni Gojanovic, i only know from Karaula, he is nearly 40 but looks like 30 in this one, very good performance. the stage-act was a bit deceiving, guess this series did have a "red herring" after all and he reminded me of TomCruise from Magnolia. After the mess with croatian war movies i had to watch recently i have high hopes that "sixt bus" which he is staring in might finally be good war movie.

Last but not least, Marija Skaricic, i didnt know her before but did watch her few weeks ago in Nestali, while her character in that series totaly ruined the show for me (yes i totaly disliked it), she is actually a stellar actor in this one, plays a very believable police detective. I actually wished they would give her and Lucev theire own crime-tvshow. Totaly underrated actress, especially because of Nestali, but in this show, her performance a total homerun for a croatia!

All other actors where good too, but they already have a lot of exposion in other shows, thats why i picked only these three for this review.

Last but not least ...

Why did we croatians needed HBO to come to croatia until we produce something that has a certain level of quality, i dont know of any other country that has a film industry nearly exclusively statefunded, lacking quality most of the time and therefore running permanently on a los (taxpayers burden).

In international comparsion this show might be more like a 6 (sadly i dont know the budget they had), but i give this show a biased 8 since zagreb was my hometown for a while and i like how they filmed it and i liked the acting and cast very much.
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Number 55 (2014)
4/10
A bad original instead of a good copy
29 February 2020
Im nearly done giving croatian movies pitty points, its absurd how bad most of these movies are made, even now, it looks like they are just winging it as they go. Nobody cares to studie other movies, how they are constructed, from plot to cinematography, camera placement, movement and lense use.

You can quickly figure out a bad croatian moviemaker the moment he uses the phrase "we aint hollywood", which translates to "we dont bother even trying".

I reached a point where i would rather see a copy of any bandofbrothers episode from 2001, just swap the insignia of the soldiers and put it into a setting in an croatian town and tweak the dialogs. A copy would be better than what croatian directors come up with on there own.

This movie was released in 2014, but even now in 2020 the same director hasnt progressed at all watching his recent "outbursts of creativitiy".

To all the other reviewers who get buthurt and all emotional, if you need to do so much explaining afterwards, THAT's a sure sign your movie is crap. If you -as well as the director- cant put "it" on film than dont even bother trying explaining it with words.
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10/10
hollywood like war-action-flick made by serbian/russians on a very tight budget
5 February 2020
This review is not political, im actually of croatian heritage, so it would be more likely that i would bash this flick, but instead i give it 10/10 for two simple reasons:

1.) from a movie-makers perspective this is a very very well done action-war-movie that is on par with hollywood productions, cinematography, sound, casting, acting, action, stunts, vfx, everything is on point ... the script itself has so much happening and they succeeded to elegantly cram it all into the moodest runtime of this movie, every second of film and every cut serves to propell the story and to keep you invested. that alone would give this movie a rating of at least 8. especially on the balkans i would suggest this movie to any filmmaker who intends to do another war-action-flick, because they can learn from it how to do things right.

2.) it did cost "only" 3.600.000$ to make, with that pricetag they outperformed the competition, thats why i give it a 10 instead of an 8 because: it takes skills to make a highquality movie on such a low budget, you dont see this in hollywood anymore.

a lot of critics complain about propaganda, in all fairness, most of us dont care, its not a documentary nor do most viewers take this for reality, its just an entertaining action-flick, good vs bad guys that is loosely based on the backdrop of a real event, basically like for example any other american war movie. in this regard nearly every war-movie would than deserve a rating of 1 because they all contain propaganda in some sort of way.

whats additonally really great about this production, the collaboration between russian and serbian film showed to be very fruitfull. i have seen other movies by the same russian director, while they are visually well made, none of them had a good story and it acutally shows on imdb. so this collaboration between russian and serbian film-professionals actually shows that they produce much better results in cooperation rather than on theire own. i really hope they do another action-movie together, but this time with a theme that will not attract all those butthurt nationalists.

to finish this review, if you like fastpaced action-packed visually-stunning war-movies, this one is definetly for you !!! ignore the rating, too many haters with a political agenda downvoted this, for movie buffs this is at least an realistic 8.
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Nestali (2020– )
2/10
Just because it is better than "General" doesnt mean its good (edit: and it isnt)
4 February 2020
You have to know that his series was aired right after the not so well received TV-Series "General", hence the bar was set so low that everything after it that proves to be even slightly better will be overhyped by the audiences, one of the main actors actually played in both productions and its obviouse that the acting is the same.

The series is directed by Kristijan Milic, a director who did war movies before, so if you liked "broj55" or "zivi i mrtvi" than you already know what to expect.

I watched the first episode yesterday and i could tell from the start that it has slightly better cinematography and better music/sound than General but that doesnt mean it has a good screenplay, pacing is very slow and it takes way to much time to get to the point where you as in audience will be invested. It is PG15 rather than PG12 which means it has more violent action but i doubt that the shown action is realistic. Scenes, plot and action are very constructed, what i disliked is that too much is filmed up close, you never get some aerial view of the location so you actually never know exactly where they are or about the surroundings they are in. maybe its all filmed at the same location so they hide it this way by not showing aerials. i will not go into the details of the plot and what i disliked in the first episode about it, just to not spoil it for future viewers.

I do hope the story will develop thruh the next episodes to the better and the pacing and action will improve, until then i give this only some average rating so far.

To all the critics that might disagree or get offended, there are 20+year old movies that did a better job in displaying war in the balkans (without any digital tools), THEY should be the bar to reach or to surpas and not some theater-like production that was recently done by an 88year old man who retired decades ago !!! Stop treating "croatian-film" like an isolated bubble, they have the same equipment at hand like any other international production, its time they learn to use it and step up their game.

UPDATE:

After watching the complete series im totaly dissapointed. If the producers would have focused on the script as much as they did on PublicRelation this could have been a good series, instead its unbelievable how much the producer talks about the script, but nothing of his intentions are actually visible in it, it seems more like that he afterwards whitewashes all the plotholes in his interviews and no way did he worked 10years on this, more like 10mins.

So who is the producer/screenwriter ? Well, he is famouse for being a quiz-master on stateTV, was never to war himself even so he is 48y old and of course his 26y girlfriend got a small role in the series too. Couldnt be more of a cliche than that. So he teamed up with director Milic whos last film "mrtve ribe" which did cost millions of taxpayer money ended up being watched in cinemas by less than 100 people in croatia. What could got wrong with a team like that, as it turns out: everything!

The TV-series, instead of getting better after every episode, they droped the ball right away and turned it into a mess and it got worse and worse, even the final showdown didnt save it for me anymore. They totaly lost me when they integrated some weird woman that seem to symbolize "the angel of death?", there are many more plotholes especially in ep4 which i wont waste my time one, but that mystery-stunt and the unrealisticly filmed end killed it for me. I wouldnt want to watch this again, not even on a rainy boring day.
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The Team (2019)
7/10
first featurelenght film by director Marko Sopic ...
22 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
... and i enjoyed it very much. Even though this is a lowbudget movie it is very well made, cinematography and acting is on point. I got a little bit mislead by the movieposter, i pretty much was thinking this is a movie about football with a comedic take and for the first half of the movie thats exactly what we get, but than it turns into a crime movie for the last third of the film.

I can understand why they did it, the funny trash-talking by the characters certainly entertains you for the first half of the movie but just trash-talking isnt enough of a plot to carry a whole movie. So we get a little bit of love-story too, actress Ivana Dudic in the role of the femme fatale does a great job in pretending to be italian, i really enjoyed the acting in the convenience store.

The grand finale turns this movie into a gangster-flick that seemes heavely inspired by tarantino (mexican standoff anyone?) while this definetly ends the film on a high note, i wished they hadnt changed the genre of the movie that drastically for the last third act. Thats the only thing were it was obviouse to me that the director has a long reputation in doing tv-series, while its okay to mix genres from episode to eipsode in a tv series, here it felt a little bit misplaced, i wished they came up with a more creative idea to end this movie, but thats just me nitpicking.

After all, im looking forward to see more featurelength movies by this director, this was definetly a very good start.
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Mali (2018)
5/10
Young actor Vito Dijak in his acclaimed fathers footsteps
18 January 2020
The acting is superb in this movie, all actors do a great job, especially the youngster in the cast, Vito Dijak, shows that he might become a great actor like his father Franjo Dijak who is also in this movie "playing his previously convicted dad".

In the last two years i have become a little bit more familiar with croatian cinema, i notice that many directors use the same esemble of actors, so does director Antonio Nuic and i notice a lot of the castmembers being used by Nevio Marasovic as well.

Now here is what saddens me the most with croatian cinema in general, they certainly have the actors to pull of outstanding performances. i know that most of the time they have to work with very moodest budgets but the issue seems to be always a mediocre script with some unsatisfying plottwist at the end and this movie suffers from the same issue. too many things are rather explained instead of shown to the audience which makes it hard to be invested, so i assume they had to cut a lot of corners due to a low/no-budget, in case they had a larger budget than this was just lazy story-writing/telling, either way it makes it hard to rate this fairly :-(
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The Mandalorian (2019– )
6/10
better than the last movies
27 December 2019
I dig what Jon Favreau tried to do here, but the story is rather medicore while the visual design is always on point. i enjoy this show definetly more than the last star wars movie but i cant relate to the overhyped ratings, maybe the previouse bad movies have made fans so numb that they now treat a mediocre show as excellent since disney had set the bar so low in regards to storytelling. it seems, if you invent some new cute aliens and some stylish new hero-characters, slap the starwars-logo on you can merchendise the hell out of it, people will gladly spent theire money on it no matter the story. unless this changes, disney will not change and will continue to deliver mediocre storytelling.
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3/10
meh
19 December 2019
Just because it looks like starwars on the outside doesnt mean it has starwars on the inside.

i wished they would have had as many competent people working on the story-writing as they had for the visual design of the movie.
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Knives Out (2019)
8/10
entertaning murder mystery with a nice twist
13 December 2019
Rian johnson really rehabilitated himself with this one, his star wars movie sucked big time but this movie here is really great and entertaining, great cast & acting and very well executed. an excellent movie in the tradition of old agatha christie movies. proof that great directors/writers need to pick there projects carefully to keep an spotless resume. i also enjoyed daniel craigs performance, this guy can act and doesnt allow himself to be pinned to any stereotypical roles.
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Code 8 (2019)
8/10
better scifi movie than most recent high budget scifi movies
13 December 2019
Im not an arrow fan but still i enjoyed this movie, great main actor and in general i like the acting from the main cast. i know this movie was sort of crowdfunded and had a modest budget, suprisingly enough you barely notice its low budget, they really got the maximum out of it. i give this movie a rating of 8 because i watched so many recent scifi-movies that had much bigger budget and big names attached to it that wherent even half as entertaining as this one.
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6 Underground (2019)
3/10
highly stylized mindless action mess
13 December 2019
Already 10mins in i had a hunch this movie would be style over substance and after i watched it till the end i was asured of it. dont get me wrong, this movie has the typical stylish michaelbay cinematography, visually very pleasing to the eye but story/plot-wise its just boring and i had to force myself to watch it till the end. i like ryan reynolds but plastering the same "comedic role" he always plays into all his movies didnt save this one. the action-sequenes are great but if you watch action-movies frequently you know its just recyled stuff all over again that you have already seen in previous films. bottom line: great actors & great cinematography wont cut it anymore if your storytelling is just bad, even transformers was more enjoyable. ;-)
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10/10
A romantic comedy for women and men alike (yeah, dudes dig it)
18 November 2019
This is by far my most favourite rom-com and i was suprised that it has such a low rating, hence i gave it a (slightly biased?) 10/10 because i think its way too underrated and one of my all-time favourites.

Mel and Helen are perfect as the leads and so is the supporting cast, the story line is awesome and perfectly executed, even the nike-commercial in the story was on point and on its own worth a watch.

Both lead actors have such great chemistry, i felt entertained and amused from start to finish of this movie that i wouldnt mind a sequel to it even tho i dont believe it can be done any better than this.
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5/10
Another very average terminator-sequel despite the promising names attached to it
8 November 2019
I like that we get to see Arnold and Linda back again in a Terminator movie, but thats about it. Considering the budget the movie is just another remix of things we have already seen before. The moment i left the cinema i already forgot about it, while i still have very fond memories of T2 and would watch it again and again at any time. The problem of this movie isnt the aged actors, its really the plot and i wished movies these days wouldnt look so obvious like CG, its either overused to its ridiculousness or stylewise looks too much of a computer-game.

I consider myself a T2(&T1)-fan, if im asked how my perfect sequel would look like, i would say i would love to see the prequel of both first two movies from its future-perspective, so far this has been done only halfassed with Genisys and Salvation.
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Deep Rising (1998)
8/10
Very entertaining and way too underrated B-movie from the 90s
8 November 2019
This is one of those B-movie gems i have fond memories of, even 20years later after its release. It entertains me everytime i by accident notice it running on TV. I like the VFX even so its totaly obvious (but also 20y old), but the point is, in this movie it is so well used to entertain you most of the time while in todays movies VFX is mostly used to avoid spending money for real props. I love this movie, it features a great cast (Famke Janssen, Treat Williams and others), way underrated back than, great acting, perfect pacing and just overall a nice mood appropirate for that movie-genre. If you like action-paced comedic horror, this is definetly a must see !
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