6 Underground – Michael Bay (2019)

A friend was enthousiastic about this film which was an over-the-top action.

Indeed, in the opening scene it is. After some robbery gone wrong, a group has to flee through Paris in a fast car. The scene is fun for a few minutes, but it looks as if it is largely CGI.

Then there appears to be a story. Some rich guy gathers people who allegedly die so they can join his group fighting bad people.

An all-American story unfolds in which bad leaders of bad countries have to be get rid off. This indeed leads to a lot of action and a couple of descent scenes, but overall I found the film pretty dull.

Polar – Jonas Åkerlund (2019)

The latest Åkerlund is available on Netflix and he even managed to get Mads Mikkelsen for the leading part and there are more familiar faces.

Mikkelsen plays Duncan Vizla, a contract killer who approaches the age of 50. This means that he can retire, or actually, that he has to. His employer has a business model in which it is better that Vizla is dead though, so he sends a few people after him.

Storywise, “Polar” reminds a bit of “John Wick“, but Åkerlund has made his film both more ‘teen’ and more violent (indeed!). Vizla’s boss and colleagues are hip comic-like youngsters who do not care for a dead more or less (the story is indeed based on a graphic novel). This leads to explicit and very violent scenes. The story has no real surprises and I do not think that was intended. Also known from other Åkerlund films are kaleidoscopic scenes with rapidly changing images, explicit female parts, drugs use, bad language and grim humour.

Ying Hung Boon Sik – John Woo (1986)

“A Better Life” is an old Eastern mafia film. It looks old too with flat colours, 1980’ies (Western) clothing and 1980’ies music (Eastern and Western).

We follow a family making money by printing it. When their power grows, they become quite violent. Not all goes well and some end up behind bars or get shot. A few years down the line, some want to lead another life.

Once you have connections with the underworld, you will never get out. This is quite obvious as the pressure on those who opt for a normal life grows.

“A Better Life” makes an alright film, but I think it is somewhat overrated. It didn’t stand time as well as some seem to think. For its time I think the film was pretty violent, but the acting is not too convincing and the drama seldom works.

No waste of time, but not a classic either in my opinion.

World War Z – Marc Forster (2013)

I thought this would be some apocalyptic science fiction film and the 7.0 on IMDb gave me hope that it was any good too. Soon it becomes clear that the “Z” from the title means “zombie” and that is just what this is, yet another zombie film.

It is an expensive one with here and there some more detail in the story, but “World War Z” is but a very poor zombie film to me

Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, a family man who formerly worked in dangerous areas. For his former occupation he is rescued with his family and taken to an aircraft carrier, but in return, he has to help to find the origin of the virus to help to find an antidote.

So Lane flies to the far east, to the near east and then to Wales to find the totally unimaginable zombies everywhere and of course has to fight and flee them until he does no longer. Not surprisingly Lane completes his tasks against all odds. There is the obligatory romance, drama and American patriotism.


The Nice Guys – Shane Black (2016)

I do not often feel like comedy, but Ryan Gosling’s presence convinced me to give this film a try. Oh, the other actor is Russel Crowe. When was the last film I saw with Crowe? “Gladiator” or so?

The two prove to make a very funny couple. A private detective and a private detective in the making, are working on cases that are connected, so after an initial clash, they start working together.

Initially “The Nice Guys” is an amusing screwball comedy. Towards the end we move more towards a nerdy action film which worked out less.

Overall, the film is a descent comedy though.

Altered Carbon – Laeta Kalogridis (series) (season 1) (2018)

This interesting-looking Netflix series is rated 8.1 on So far I have had more luck with series on Netflix than with films. To me, “Altered Carbon” is by and far no 8.1 though.

The story is a bit thin. At some point humanity found a way to put a personality (or consciousness) on a disc (“stack”) that can be put in the neck of any body (“sleeve”).

Takeshi Kovacs is an “envoy”, a rebel soldier, who had been in “cryosleep” for 250 years (“put on ice”) after which he wakes up in a different body. As ‘the last envoy’ he draws attention. Then he is hired by an extremely wealthy man for a job in trade for his freedom. The case: the man has been killed, but fortunately he keeps a backup of his “stack” on a satelite, so he can just download himself and put himself in a new (newly cloned) “sleeve” when the old one perishes.

All good and well. Muscle-body Kovacs sets out to investigate. He is constantely followed by police-woman Kristin Ortega. Of course they run into all kinds of situations that make some action, romance or drama. The story gets less and less interesting as we go along. The series have some nice findings here and there, but overall, it is amusing at best. I doubt I will ever watch the second season.

Hotel Artemis – Drew Pearce (2018)

In an apocalyptic near future LA, “Nurse” runs an expensive hotel hospital only for its criminal members. Jody Foster is great as the weird “Nurse” and the first part of the film the film has a bit of that Jeunet-like weirdness.

Naturally a few people that are better not in the same building need to find admission in Hotel Artemis, so things can only go wrong.

Especially the first half of the film is very entertaining. Nice humour, funny dialogues, strange findings. “Nurse” suffers a trauma that is mostly worked out in the second half which makes the second half less funny. The film explains all events in the end.


Spectral – Nick Mathieu (2016)

In a near future with high-tech warfare, American soldiers run into something that they have not seen yet: an invisible and deadly enemy.

Clyne, the creator of these high-tech items, is sent to a war-zone to try to find out what technique the enemy uses.

“Spectral” makes an alright film with a good war atmosphere. The film is good up until we find out what enemy the soldiers face and then becomes a bit of an action horror which is not too convincing. Of course there is a bit of the obligatory drama and American patriotism, so in this regard a Netflix film is exactly like a Hollywood production.

Gangster Squad – Ruben Fleischer (2013)

1949, war hero O’Mara returns to his home town LA which he finds being slowly taken over by mafia leader Mickey Cohen (a great Sean Penn). He joins the police force where he violently goes against the corruption of his town. This results in amusing over-the-top fist fights.

Then O’Mara is asked to put together a team to try to work Cohen out of the city. He finds a colourful team of (ex-)cops who go after Cohen’s money in brutal shootings and interrogations.

The film has a good 1940’ies atmosphere, but contemporary violence and humour. With a typical story with good looking tough guys and beautiful ladies, Fleischer works to a predictable end, but does this with a pretty amusing film.

The Equalizer – Antoine Fuqua (2014)

Well, this time I picked a non-Netflix original with a fair rating on IMDb (7.2) and still it is a weak film. Of course action is not my genre (and yet I feel like watching action for weeks…), but still.

Denzel Washington in the role of a tough guy. Is that unexpected?

Robert McCall (Washington) is the good guy who helps everybody. He works a hardware store where he helps colleagues, he helps people living in his neighborhood and in a cafe where that he visits often, he gets friendly with a Russian prostitute.

When Teri gets trouble with her pimp, McCall decides to help out. In doing so he gets trouble with the Russian maffia. Fortunately he proves to be a killing machine so in a John Wick-like revenge thriller he works himself to the top.

Nothing too interesting.