måndag 18 juni 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Terrorists, thugs, all you criminals out there, you might as well lay down your nuclear weapons, now when Tom Cruise is back, we know who runs the show. Mission Impossible have become a huge box office profit since the first movie adaptation came out in 1996, based on the tv series from the 60´s. Every movie have tried to deliver something fresh to the Mission Impossible legacy, with different results. This time around, is the latest motion picture exactly what we wanted, or should mr Cruise stayed at home instead with Katie Holmes?

IMF agent Tremor Hanaway ( Josh Holloway ) is murdered in Budapest by assassin Sabine Moreau ( Léa Seydoux ). Tremor were on a mission to intercept a courier holding Russian nuclear launch codes. Hanaway´s IMF team members Jane Carter ( Paula Patton ) and Benji Dunn ( Simon Pegg ), help Ethan Hunt ( Tom Cruise ) to escape prison in Moscow. Ethan is assigned to infiltrate secret files inside the Moscow Kremlin, with the help of Jane and Benji. A person codenamed " Cobalt ", who is known to be a Russian consultant, determined to detonate a nuclear bomb. While Ethan investigate, someone else is using IMF frequency, to alert Russian´s about Ethan´s team. Ethan and his members manage to escape, but suddenly the Moscow Kremlin explode. Ethan is arrested by Russian agent Anatloy Sidorov ( Vladimir Mashkov ), suspecting Ethan responsible for the attack. At the hospital, Ethan manages to escape, as he meets with IMF Secretary ( Tom Wilkinson ), to accept the next mission. But someone kills IMF Secretary, leaving Ethan and his few members to handle this situation on their own. The team identify the codename Cobalt as Kurt Hendricks ( Michael Nyqvist ), a swedish born russian nuclear strategist, who lately have suffered a psychotic break, who wants to use nuclear weapon on the human race. Kurt needs the launch codes from Sabine, but Ethan intend to stop this insanity before it´s too late.

Yes yes yes....finally a Mission Impossible movie that simply kicks ass. And not because of CGI effects ( there are some here, but not too much, ) wich is great, it´s because this feels more like a old school Mission Impossible adaptation, still with a lot of violence and explosions, but with more heart than MI:2. Tom Cruise delivers one of his best performances so far as Ethan Hunt, even if he was good in the earlier movies, it´s nice to see he goes 100% into his character. How great it is to see british actor Simon Pegg here, as the computer specialist. He fits perfect with his humorous character, so you get to laugh at some moments. Of course we have to wave our swedish flag for Michael Nyqvist, as the evil Kurt Hendricks, he is really fantastic as a bad guy, who would have known? One thing i have to point out, is how director Brad Bird, finds the perfect tone to make you feel like this is a Mission Impossible movie. And it´s simply because he finds certain details that matters more than CGI. If you want to make your boyfriend, daddy, or male friends happy, make sure you put this one on blu-ray, and i promise you, they will be like Justín Bieber fans, only difference is they will go crazy for Tom Cruise instead. A must see, and no excuses.

Rating: DDDD

söndag 17 juni 2012

Snow White & The Huntsman

Most people have read the original fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, and still today this story is magical for all ages. It´s now 2012, and it´s time to update the story of Snow White. Actress Kristen Stewart is mostly known for her Twilight audience. Thankfully she have tried different characters, like in Welcome To The Rileys, where she did a great performance as the teenage stripper, heading towards disaster. With this updated version of Snow White, will the audience still be enchanted, or is this a desperate try to make Twilight fans run to the cinema?

The princess of Tabor, Snow White ( Kristen Stewart ), is a beautiful very caring young girl, who her father King Magnus ( Noah Huntley ) is very proud of. Snow White´s mother Queen Eleanor dies, wich is a very hard time to handle. Out on a battlefield King Magnus defeats the Dark Army, and saves their prisoner Ravenna ( Charlize Theron ). Magnus falls in love with Ravenna and decide to marry her. But Ravenna murders her new husband, to take the thrown of Tabor, and makes sure Snow White is locked up in the tower of the castle. Years go by, and Snow White is still locked up, until one day when she manages to escape. She flee into the Dark Forest, where Ravenna´s soldiers can´t find her. Ravenna finds Eric The Huntsman ( Chris Hemsworth ), who she asks for help, for him to locate Snow White and capture her. If he does, Ravenna promise to bring his dead wife back to life. But when Eric finds Snow White, and find out this is all lies from Ravenna, he turns against her, realising she will not bring his wife to life. Snow White intend to fight back against Queen Ravenna, and manage to find people who are ready to fight for their freedom.

I´m kind of split about this updated version. There are some great scenes, like the dwarfs, who will make you have a good time. Also the troll scene is pretty cool. Then we have the bad part. Some scenes are very slow, in fact sometimes a bit too slow for this genre. I would have hoped for more battle scenes with trolls and the Glass Soldiers ( they are also pretty cool, when they broke into a thousand pieces ). What really saves Snow White & The Huntsman is Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna, now this woman know how to act. Very powerful stuff indeed, when she let her anger go. Overall this version is good, but fairly. I say this because i feel there are some details that could have been better. So, it´s worth checking out, if you love fairytales and magic. But let´s hope they make bigger fight scenes until the next movie, we need more trolls, more monsters and more blood on the battlefield, then we will have a better version of Snow White.

Rating: DDD

lördag 16 juni 2012

War Of The Dead ( Stone´s War )

I love zombies. The more zombies, the better. The more body parts, the better. Am i totally sick? Yes, and i love it. For those who know me personally, they know how much zombies means to me. Zombies is the answer to almost everything, they don´t care about skin colour, if you´re gay or straight, they just want to feed on your flesh. There are so many zombie movies out there, some are really good, some are terrible. The Walking Dead gave zombie fans a fantastic view on this concept, in a very well made tv series. Norway tried this genre with a combination of nazi zombies in Dead Snow. Now, our neighbour country Finland is in the game with War Of The Dead. Does zombies in Finland bring anything fresh, or should they have stayed away and listen to Lordi records instead?

Captain Martin Stone ( Andrew Tiernan ) is leader of a elite platoon. Out on a mission to attack a bunker, everything goes wrong and their plans go straight to hell. The whole platoon is forced to go back into the forest. Just as they regroup, they find out that the soldiers who were killed earlier, have returned to life. As they are forced to go deeper into russian territory, they soon find out what is really going on.

I have only seen a few movies from Finland, but none of them we´re interesting. So it is a great suprise to see what a well made production director Marko Mäkilaakso have put together, on a budget of 1.3 million euros. There are plenty of action scenes, mixed with horror influences, wich match great together. The only problem i have with War Of The Dead is that we have seen this before, many times. So you basically know how it all will end. But thanks to descent acting, as well as nice camera work, i know fans of movies like Feast or Dog Soldiers will enjoy this one. There seem to be a reason why so many swedish movie sucks, we don´t dare to cross limits and try something different. War Of The Dead may not be groundbreaking, but this movie shows what swedish directors should try, instead of the same pattern. Simple ideas works better sometimes than complicated ones.

Rating: DDD

fredag 15 juni 2012

Wrath Of The Titans

If there was one movie wich was panned by critics in the year 2010, it was Clash Of The Titans. Almost every critic hated so many things about that movie, they simply did not want it to be made at all. But the audience did not care. It became a huge box office success, so it did not matter what the critics had to say. So a sequel is now here ( wow....i am so suprised, or not ). Basically with the same cast from the first movie, is Wrath Of The Titans a better motion picture than expected, or is it exactly what we would fear ?

10 years have gone since Perseus ( Sam Worthington ), defeated the Kraken. Perseus lives an ordinary life, as a fisherman, with his son Helius ( John Bell ). One night his father Zeus ( Liam Neeson ), visits Perseus, asking for his help. The power of gods are fading and the walls of the underworld prison Tartarus are breaking. Perseus does not want to help Zeus, and ignore him. Zeus decide to travel to Tartarus to meet Hades ( Ralph Fiennes ), Poseidon ( Danny Huston ) and Ares ( Edgar Ramirez ). Zeus ask Hades to forget about the past, and help build Tarturus back to what it once was. But Hades have other plans, he orders his minions to attack. Poseidon is injured, while Ares betray Zeus, and take him as a prisoner. Perseus finds out what has happened, and begins a journey, to stop the revival of Kronos.

I did not hate Clash Of The Titans, but it still had a lot of flaws. Wrath Of The Titans is an improvement, in many ways. The story of Perseus is more well written than earlier, the effects are definetely better, as well as the acting from different sides. Another improvement are the different gods and monsters, who make the action scenes more enjoyable. Try and forget about Clash Of The Titans, this one delivers alot more of everything, perfect with a ice cold beer with your mates, There are some cheesy moments, but overall, worth checking out.

Rating: DDD

21 Jump Street

I never followed 21 Jump Street on tv back in the 80´s. Maybe because there were so many other tv shows that felt more interesting. So, when rumours started coming about a new movie based on the 80´s tv series, i honestly did not care. Maybe because everything is being remade these days, and i am sure there are more remakes to come. So is 21 Jump Street a pleasent suprise, or is this only for the fans of the tv series?

Morton Schmidt ( Jonah Hill ) and Greg Jenko ( Channing Tatum ), both went to the same high school, one of them have good grades, the other one is in trouble, and may not be able to go to college. Years later, when both Morton and Greg are adults, they meet at the police academy. Turns out they both want to be cops. As they begin their education, they become close friends, and help each other out. Just as they finally graduate, they feel ready to hit the streets, but things don´t turn out the way they thought. They end up assigned to park patrol. While on patrol, the spot a drug deal going on, and arrest one of the suspects. They are both very happy about the arrest, but it turns out, Greg did not read up the suspects rights, and the suspect is released. Morton and Greg are reassigned to 21 Jump Street, where Captain Dickson ( Ice Cube ), need help to locate a drug dealer at high school, who is behind selling the latest synthetic drug. As they enter high school on a undercover mission, they need to keep their identity secret to find who is behind the drug.

I am going to say this straight out. 21 Jump Street is damn funny. In fact, in some scenes i laughed alot, the more vulgar, the more fun. There is a lot of immature humour, but somehow it fits perfect to these dumb characters. And Ice Cube as their leader, he gives you a bitch slap straight in your face, he is simply fantastic as the nasty chief, who says anything he wants, and if you don´t accept it, you will have your ass kicked. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum works very well togtether, this duo delivers exactly what we could ask for. They are like a updated version of Lethal Weapon, except much dumber. If you like more serious comedies, then this is not your cup of tea. On the other hand, if you love silly, stuped, but fun movies, made with a heart of the 80´s, this one will give you a great time. In fact,  this kind of reminded me of 48 Hours with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, wich is a good sign. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller is the new generation of Walter Hill´s classic style, i hope they plan another movie. I have a feeling they actually can pull the right strings with this cast.

Rating: DDDD

söndag 3 juni 2012

Dark Shadows

As an actor, you need to feel challenge, as well as have a good connection with the director. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have worked together since Edward Scissorhands, and there seem to be something magical about their team work. Most of the movies they have worked on together have a message, everything from life itself to fantasy. With their latest collaboration, they try a different approach, a vampire movie. Do they still have the magic left, or is it vanished after all these years?

In the year of 1760, Joshua ( Ivan Kaye ) and Naomi Collins ( Susanna Capellaro ) sail from Liverpool to North America, Maine. Here they set up a fishing port called Collinsport. The Collins Family are very succesfull, as they build Collinwood Manor. Joshua and Naomi´s son Barnaby ( Johnny Depp ) lives like a playboy. But his life is about to change, as he breaks the heart of one of their servants Angelique Bouchard ( Eva Green ). She is a witch, and puts a spell on his love Josette du Pres ( Bella Heathcote ), wich forces her to jump deep into the sea. While Barnaby sees his love die from the fall, he also jumps to join her in death. But before he lands, Angelique has cursed Barnaby to live as a vampire. She arrange to blame him for what happened, as the village decide to bury him alive. In the year 1972, a young woman named Maggie Evans ( Bella Heathcote ) travels to Collinsport, interested in helping Collins family with their son David Collins ( Gulliver McGrath ) She gets the job, from matriarch Elisabeth Collins Stoddard. Later that night, construction workers find a coffin, buried deep underground. Barnaby wakes up, as he finds out it is 1972, a completely different world from what he knows. He decides to find his family Collins, to see if the new generation knows who he is. Angelique finds out Barnaby has returned, wich makes her furious. She will win his heart again, or his curse will continue forever.

It´s a great thing when you don´t have any expectations, and come out of the cinema smiling. Dark Shadows is a very dark comedy, brilliant made, with so many funny details. Johnny Depp delivers another amazing performance, as the lost vampire Barnaby, who wants to break his curse. Tim Burton is not a typical mainstream director, he can still make movies in his own style, without beeing too much. Who else would have made this combination, a vampire arranging a party with Alice Cooper ? There are a lot of funny moments, wich makes this horror comedy strong enough to stand on it´s own. It´s great to see a completely different approach on vampires, instead of the typical Twilight story. Dark Shadows is a great time, with a fantastic cast like Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, Jackie Earle Halye, and many more. I suggest you watch this one, especially if you love Tim Burton movies, you won´t be dissapointed.

Rating: DDDD