films seen
average score
New Zealand - 79 years old
Alive and kicking
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2022 / 114m - USA
Thriller, Crime
Memory poster

The US remake of De Zaak Alzheimer ... or so it said at the end. I did see Van Looy's original but clearly didn't remember enough to spot any similarities, let alone properly compare the two. To add insult to injury, this rather run-of-the-mill remake is actually quite a bit better than the original, though that's not a major accomplishment.

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Lewis is a contract killer with a conscience. When he declines to kill a young girl and forces his client to annul the contract, he gets himself wrapped up in some thorny business. Alzheimer's disease is slowly eating away at his health, so to make sure justice is served, Lewis contacts the FBI and proposes a joint operation.

Neeson is getting a bit too old for these roles (which goes for the rest of the primary cast too, in fact), but the build-up was nice enough and the level of tension needed for a film like this to work was present. It's not at all memorable, special or unique, but it's decent enough genre filler, which accounts for something.

The Foreigner

2017 / 113m - UK
The Foreigner poster

Though not the most original film, The Foreigner comes with a pretty interesting setup, where none of the leads are straight-up good guys. It's obvious enough who're the people we're supposed to sympathize with (i.e. our titular foreigner, played by Jackie Chan), but even he's a pretty shady character.

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When a IRA bomb kills Quan's only remaining daughter, he's poised to take revenge on the bombers. He pesters police and politicians for the names of the criminals, but nobody's willing to help him out. Quan, a former military man himself, decides to take matters into his own hands.

The film's surprisingly grim, not something I expected from a Jackie Chan production. He fares well though, and his battle with Pierce Brosnan is quite entertaining. Cinematography, score and plot are rather basic, but if you're looking for some solid thriller filler this is not a bad option.

The Protégé

2021 / 109m - USA
Action, Thriller
The Protégé poster

A rather generic action/thriller, then again, what did you expect from Martin Campbell? The script is a simple copy/paste job, the direction is unremarkable and the cast is made up of actors who are worrying more about their pension rather than making it to the top. If you're okay with that, The Protégé holds some decent genre fun.

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Anna is rescued by Moody, one of the most infamous contract killers money can buy. She becomes his protégé and Moody trains her to be his successor. Together they are unstoppable, but as is always the case in these types of situations, the past will come back to haunt them. When Moody is murdered, Anna sets out to find out who was behind the hit.

Maggie Q is decent, Keaton and Jackson do exactly what is expected of them. The action is pretty bland, the plot is predictable and the bad guys are rather dull. The pacing is okay, and even though the film is a bit long, I never really tired of the film. Simply genre filler, but don't ask me about the film never week, because I'll have forgotten about most of it already.


1995 / 130m - UK
Action, Adventure
GoldenEye poster

A return to form for Bond. After a short, 5-year hiatus the franchise returns with Brosnan in the lead and a lot more action to break up the crime/adventure elements. It's the first Bond film that feels like a true action flick, but it's also the first Bond where 007's often cheeky behavior is called into question. You can't have all the fun.

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007 finds himself entangled into some good old Cold War nonsense again, having to fight the Russians for a weapon (the titular GoldenEye) that could destroy the world. It's a quest that takes him around the world and pits him against an enemy that has a personal grudge against Bond.

Brosnan is a perfect fit for the character, the bigger focus on action adds to the entertainment and there's enough goofy franchise drivel to make sure the film never gets too serious. It's newfound social consciousness is a bit ill-fitting though and Sean Bean is a dull bad guy, the Bond girls aren't great either. But after the Dalton Bonds, this was a breath of fresh air.

Edge of Darkness

2010 / 117m - UK
Thriller, Crime
Edge of Darkness poster

Martin Campbell adapts his own miniseries into a feature film. I never watched the original, but it doesn't look like there was any reason to revisit this story. Edge of Darkness is set up like an extremely simple revenge flick, hinging everything on the performance of Mel Gibson. Not a smart bet.

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Detective Craven doesn't have the best relationship with his daughter, but when she's brutally murdered right in front of him his world crumbles. He starts digging into her past and hits a cover-up that links the company she worked for to a government operation. That's when Craven starts fearing for his own life.

The action is rather tepid, there's way too much (uninteresting) dialogue and the cast does a mediocre job. It's almost as if Gibson tries to compensate, with a performance that is way over the top. The cinematography and score are also of little consequence. The finale almost redeemed the film, but that final scene was the final blow.

Vertical Limit

2000 / 124m - USA
Action, Adventure
Vertical Limit poster

A rather pedestrian mountain climbing adventure. The dramatized genre enjoyed a short boost of success, after which the documentaries became more in vogue. I'm not a big fan of either and Vertical Limit isn't the type of film that will change anybody's opinion. It's simple blockbuster fodder.

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When Peter's sister gets trapped by an avalanche while climbing the K2, Peter and a gang of mountain climbers hike up the mountain hoping to be in time to save her. The weather conditions are relentless and the setting is inhospitable, but Peter will go to extremes to save his sister from harm.

There's some personal drama to fill in the gaps between the adventure/disaster bits, but neither part of the film is very impressive. The performances are weak, the effect shots are poor and two hours is way too long for the simple setup. It's not a complete dud, but hardly worth my time.

The Mask of Zorro

1998 / 136m - USA
Adventure, Western
The Mask of Zorro poster

Though I watched a fair number of Zorro episodes as a kid, it was far from my favorite series. Safe to say that I didn't expect too much from this film, not in the least because director Campbell has a pretty poor resume. The film turned out to be pretty much what I thought it would be, but with a few silver linings.

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Zorro was never very serious and it seems Campbell understood that very well. Especially during the first half there's a certain cheesy mood that makes the film a lot easier to sit through. Not that it was particularly great, but at least the pacing was decent and it never felt like it tried to be too serious.

The action sequences (apart from the explosive finale) are rather dull though and it's criminal to let a simple film like this cross the two-hour mark. The second half also loses some of its lightheartedness and the build-up toward the finale did drag, but I expected a lot worse. That said, I won't be seeing the sequel any time soon.

Casino Royale

2006 / 144m - UK
Action, Thriller
Casino Royale poster

Ouch. By far the worst Bond in the series. Gone is the self-aware fun, the crazy, goofy elements, the over-the-top nonsense. In good old Hollywood '00 tradition and old franchise is revamped to be more serious and raw. Of course within the safe confines of marketable Hollywood entertainment, making for an extremely boring and glaringly nonsensical film.

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This is a little reboot for James Bond. He's on his very first assignment and still has to learn the tricks of the trade. He chases down a bad guy called Le Chiffre, the famed banker of a global terrorist network, in order to stifle their operations. But Le Chiffre isn't just some office stiff, making Bond's life much harder than he had anticipated.

The action scenes are bland, Q is dearly missed, the extra time spent on the characterization of Bond is an utter waste of time and the poker game that grinds the film to a halt halfway through is one of the dullest scenes in any of the Bond films out there. A disgrace, sadly it did well and we seem to be stuck with this Bond for the time being.

Green Lantern

2011 / 114m - USA
Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Green Lantern poster