Cinematic viewings will be cut back significantly due to the current Hollywood bullshit. Streaming services are more diverse and less politically motivated.  Entertain me Hollywood. 
 I don't want your political opinions.

  NETFLIX:  The Titan.  Harmlessly interesting, yet simplified movie of forced human evolution.  It's 2048 and we've destroyed our planet.  Scientists think they can make a human that can live on Saturn's moon, Titan.  Several evolution test candidates are taken to a NATO controlled island and subjected to all manner of science to change them into methane breathing, hairless, blue homo-titaniums.  Things go badly, really bad, for all but one of the test subjects and because he can telepathically communicate with his wife he becomes the only guy sent to Titan because he can no longer live on Earth.  The best part is of him flying across Titan's oceans.  Entertaining but predictable.

  Revolt.  Earth is overrun by tall metallic robotic aliens. Governments have toppled, billions of people dispatched by the aliens.  The part of the story we get is one US soldier wakes up with amnesia in an African jail and little by little remembers what happens to him with the help of a lovely French aid worker.  In a mad dash across the continent they discover ways to fight the aliens.  As for being a soldier, this guy is not very tactically aware or effective.  The aid worker is far more capable of taking care of the hard stuff.  She is captured by the aliens and he is taken to the survivors who have an EMP device that they intend to set off under the main alien ship.  Wackiness ensues.  Entertaining, simple and made on a shoestring budget by today's standards a very passable sci-fi adventure.  One monkey thumb up for effort.

  22 Bullets.  This is a fun little tale of revenge French style.  A little foreshadowing in the character build up stage tells you who is doing what to whom, but it is well thought out and rather satisfactory in a simple A to B kind of way.  A retired gangland hitman is shot 22 times in a parking garage.  He survives and goes about finding out who shot him and why.  His family and friends are endangered and he has to forge an uneasy bond with an alcoholic policewoman, but in the end all bad perpetrators die at his hand and he saves his family.  Well done.  Entertaining.

  NETFLIX:  The Chalet season 1. Another fun French revenge story.  Past and present stories intertwine to tell the tale of greed, lust, lost love, betrayal, murder and killer revenge.  A newly renovated chalet in a remote mountain village far removed from the nearest town is the site of a past transgression and a current wedding party gone wrong.  Childhood friends meet up at the Chalet to prepare for a wedding.  The bridge to the village is destroyed by a falling boulder, village people start dying, friends disappear and die, old memories bubble to the surface as the truth of what happened 20 years prior in the Chalet explode with a vengeance.  Murder upon murder, misunderstandings, stolen lottery winnings all collide with the revelation of who is doing the killing and why.  Familiar storyline but entertaining.

  Orbiter 9.   Earth is again dying and the people in charge are trying to find plausible ways to save humanity.  Yup. Interesting tale of a young woman who has never had human contact while growing up alone in her spaceship on the way to another planet.  Her parents abandoned her years earlier to save her oxygen so she could live.  Enter the technician arriving by spaceship to fix her air supply.  Of course they have sex and she gets pregnant.  Turns out she is one of many people being experimented on by the government and isn't in a spaceship after all.   The technician helps her escape and they try to evade the government.  Once discovered that she is pregnant, they strike a deal and allow the three of them to go back to the Orbiter 9 program until the child emerges at age 14.  Some plot holes but otherwise thought provoking.

  AMAZON:  Detective Anna Season 1 with many episodes missing.  Anna, the daughter of a prominent lawyer living at the end of the nineteenth century in the town of Zatonsk, Russia discovers that she can see dead people.  With the help of her Charlatan Medium uncle,  Anna builds a reputation as a seer and helps many spirits find closure with their demise and brings many culprits to justice with the help of Detective Shtolman from Moscow. On a secret police mission, Shtolman reluctantly believes in Anna's abilities after she has helped solve many cases and then falls in love with her.  The costumes are brilliant and the acting is wonderful with a plethora of characters rounding out this turn of the century mystery show.  Too bad so many episodes are missing from Amazon's presentation.







































































  Office:  oh those wacky South Koreans.  This is the tale of an office worker gone off the deep end and taking every coworker with him in heinous and clever fashion.  The police look at the situation one way, the intern looks at it another and the coworkers still another.  Not a good day at the office for any one!  This is still a society that berates its workforce to get them to work harder not smarter and one-up each other.  In the end nothing is at it seems and the quiet ones are usually the most deadly.

  Requiem Season 1.   10 episodes.  A young famous cellist watches her mother slit her own throat.  What ensues is a trippy trip to Wales  (all manner of dark things seem to happen in Wales) by the cellist and her boyfriend/pianist. to uncover some hidden truth regarding missing children, a particular missing girl, haunting happenings, unexplained "suicides" that are not, menace and Satanists.  Though the cellist is rather annoying the series is entertaining with a bang-up ending that makes for an unhappy ending for everyone involved.

  TAG.  One helluva a great opening similar to Ghost Ship's awesome split ender.  Two busloads of Japanese schoolgirls on an outing are inexplicably and suddenly cut in half horizontally severing all the school girls in half, torsos ripped asunder, blood spurting high in the sky.  One girl has survived and runs down the road meeting other people who are then also cut in half.  She runs into another group of school girls who think she is someone else, then their teachers fire at them with machine guns killing everyone but that same girl, then she's someone else running in a high school relay race with another bunch of girls.  Then the story is finished up by telling us how these alternate realities exist.  Tied up pretty logically thought the movie itself is almost too much.

  NETFLIX:  Violet Evergarden.  This is Team Apeonaut's type of story.  Two countries are at war and have been a long time.  A young, nameless orphan girl is given to an Army Major by his Navy Captain older brother.  The Major names her Violet (Violent?) telling her she'll grow into it.  As the story unfolds we discover that Violet has the knack for mass killing and as she grows closer to the Major he tells her before he dies he loves her.  After waking up in a hospital with two robotic arms, Violet goes to work for a friend of the Major who does not tell her the Major is dead.  Instead he sends her to Memory Doll deportment school so she can be taught to write lovely heartfelt letters for people in need of letters being written.  Many people cannot read or write.  Violet travels the country writing letters for people and gaining the reputation as a wonderful letter writer.  All of this happens in her quest to find out the meaning love so she knows what the Major meant when he said he loved her.  Of the many letters Violet writes she discovers her positive impact on the lives of the people sending and receiving the letters.  She is not just a tool of war.  She is a person of worth and deserving of life.  Highly entertaining.

 Beyond Skyline.  A sequel to 2009's Skyline, this movie takes place 24 hours after the invasion of Los Angeles and before the nuking of Los Angeles to destroy the aliens.  A suspended cop, his angry son, a transit operator and a few survivors use the subway to escape the aliens.  Unfortunately they are all killed or captured and discover the horrible truth behind what the aliens are doing to humans.  Humans have their brains removed and shoved into aliens who then go out and do the bidding of the alien leader.  Some of the transplants however maintain human awareness thus setting the stage for the revolt against the aliens.  After the nuke hits, the survivors end up in Southeast Asia and with the help of Thai fighters beat the aliens at their own game.  A far better movie than the original Skyline, Beyond has moments of logic, heroism, pathos and kickboxing.  Entertaining.





















































































  I Remember You.  Set in Iceland.  3 tragic tales decades apart converge at an abandoned whaling station.  Story 1: a little boy is bullied by classmates.  He gets onto a small boat and is never seen again, though 7 of his classmates die horrible and agonizing "accidental" deaths. Story 2:  A doctor's son disappears while playing hide and seek with a friend.  The doctor obsesses over his inability to find his boy.  Story 3:  a young couple and a friend go to the abandoned whaling station to renovate an old house in which to start their new lives.  Unfortunately the husband and friend have already become pregnant and the wife is having visions since they arrived.  Wife finds story 1's missing boy, dead in the root cellar. Husband and pregnant family friend are killed in a freak ghost induced building collapse, wife goes into the cellar and dies comforting the spirit of story 1's lost boy.  Friend of story 2 lost boy says he last saw him in a green submarine.  Turns out to be the septic tank outside of the pre-renovated whaling station house.  Spirit of lost boy 2 goes home with dad, spirit of lost boy 1 now has a "mother" to keep him company.  Similar to other ghost story movies but it's Icelandic and the countryside and the weather make it seem ghostier.

 How I Ended This Summer.  Older Russian meteorologist and stupid young intern are alone on an Arctic island taking readings of the sun, the wind, and the radiation everyday and transmitting the data to Russia.  One day the elder goes off fishing leaving the intern in charge.  Intern takes a message from HQ telling him the elder's family has been killed and they are sending a ship to pick them up.  Instead of telling the elder immediately upon his return of the tragedy, the intern feels intimidated by his elder's reprimands for his lousy record keeping.  The intern makes matters worse by lying to everyone about having told the elder.  After another fishing trip the intern blurts out everything going wrong is because the elder's family is dead which begins the life and death struggle between the two men.  It gets out of hand when the self-radiation contaminated intern contaminates the elder's fish.  The boat finally arrives taking away the radioactive isotopes and the intern, leaving the elder there alone on the island.  Russian.

  Flint and Flint Redemption.  A Russian Maroon Beret "Shaman"  goes to a small town to visit an old friend.  The town is run by thugs. The townsfolk pay "protection" and the womenfolk are raped and things in town run smoothly.  In an eerie Russian reflection of First Blood and Rambo 3 and the Raid, Shaman is arrested and beaten by police for no reason.  He breaks out and saves a girl raped by the Sheriff.  Along the way he makes 2 Rambo references.  There is also a picture of Steven Segall on the wall of the sheriff's office.  He goes on the run, they chase him with dogs and a helicopter, he sets traps in the woods, the cops get injured, he has a stand-off with the sheriff and Shaman's Colonel Trautman version talks him down.  All ends well.  In Flint Redemption, Shaman and his new girlfriend (the one saved from the sheriff) live a quiet life in an old military trailer.  Shaman's Colonel wants him to do a recon job on some bad guys after a military platoon disappears.  The colonel is shot and Shaman ends up having to rescue the villagers and his girlfriend from bad guys who kidnap people for their organs.  Lots of fighting, torture, and dying.  Very Russian.

  Tale of Tales.  Three tales that converge into one. 1)  A selfish queen wants a baby.  A soothsayer tells her how to get one and sends her husband the king to slay a seabeast and cut out its heart so it can be cooked by a virgin and then the queen can eat it causing her to get pregnant in a day.  The king dies during this quest but the queen does not care.  She has her baby...the virgin also has a baby caused by the boiling steam from the seabeast heart, a twin to the prince.  The boys are friends, the queen hates it.  The prince tells his friend that when he is king they can do what they want. After an incident the friend moves away and starts a family of his own.  The prince senses danger for his friend and goes to save him.  The queen finds out and asks the soothsayer how to get him back.  She turns into a giant bat so she can kill the friend, but the prince kills her without knowing it's mommy.  2) An oddball king catches a flea and feeds it until it is the size of a small elephant.  His daughter the princess is the prize to any man who can guess what the hide is.  An ogre says it's a flea and the princess must go be the wife of an ogre.  She is not happy.  One day she gets circus performers to help her escape the ogre.  After a mighty chase and fight the performers are dead and the princess must acquiesce to the ogre.  When he turns his back to her she cuts off his head with a knife stolen from the circus wagon and takes it home to her ailing father.  He makes her queen so she doesn't cause a riot.  3) Another king, this one a lecherous dog is entranced by singing he hears one drunken night.   He goes to the home of two filthy old hags not knowing they are hags.  The singer agrees to go to his bed in disguise and under the cover of darkness.  He realizes she's a hag and tosses her out the window.  Lucky to have survived the great fall, she is suckled by a woodland witch  whose milk gives youth and vitality.  The king marries her, thinking he made a mistake previously.  The queen's hag sister comes to the wedding and nearly destroys the gig by proclaiming she's the queen's sister.  Then the sister has the Tanner flay her so she too can change her skin.  Totally crazy.  Entertaining and beautifully filmed at some of Europe's most interesting castles.

































































April 21, 2018