lördag 21 september 2013

The Iceman

I honestly did not know who Michael Shannon is, until i watched his motion picture Take Shelter. This is one of those titles you don´t forget, because the acting in this movie is absolutely explosive from Michael Shannon. Take Shelter never found a wider audience, but i still tried to recommend it to anyone i could. Recently we could see Shannon as General Zod in the latest Superman movie Man Of Steel. But now we get to see him, in a fresh new motion picture, based on a true story about the contract killer Richard Kuklinski. A gangster thriller set in the 60´s and 70´s, is this another great performance by Michael Shannon, or is this not his cup of tea ?

Richard Kuklinski ( Michael Shannon ) works for gangster Roy DeMeo ( Ray Liotta ). Roy pay Richard to take out people who are considered to be a problem, for their business. Before he became a hitman, Roy worked dubbing porno movies, just to get paid. His wife Deborah Kuklinski ( Winona Ryder ), does not know what he does, or not even what he did in his past. This becomes a big problem, when the law is looking for who is responible for all these killings. But this is not the only problem. while killing one of his targets, a young girl is a witness to this murder. But instead of killing her, Richard let her go out in the streets. Roy DeMeo is furious, and tells Richard he is decommissioned. Richard is determined to prove that he is under control, but is he really ?

You might think this is another gangster movie, that looks like most of the classics. Well, not entirely. Since this is based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski, the plot at least have some originality left in store. Michael Shannon manage to show how emotionless Richard was, a man who did not care about human life, I am most pleased to see how great Ray Liotta is, as the evil Roy DeMeo, he really know how to make characters believable , and powerful on the big screen. But hold your horses, i have to say how great it is to see Robert Davi back in a bigger production. He may not do his best performance here in a smaller role, but still this legendary actor knows how to deliver in his own special way. The Iceman is an effective thriller movie, that works so well thanks to so many great actors. To know that Kuklinski murdered about 200 people is very shocking, and that he raised his family on that money. Well worth a watch, and remember to check out David Schwimmer as Josh Rosenthal, you will not recognize him in his 70´s look.

Rating: DDD

fredag 20 september 2013

Känn Ingen Sorg

Everytime i meet people out in the world, and get questions asked about Sweden, i will always say that Gothenburg is the greatest city of our country. If someone says Stockholm, they are living in a fantasty dream. Gothenburg have everything you need, great culture, great nightlife and really great people in the streets. Everytime i go back there, you feel home. Going into the culture life, Gothenburg have a legendary singer, who have enchanted all of Sweden by his music. Håkan Hellström is one of the biggest pop stars of Sweden, he writes all of his own songs, does not use autotunage, and tour in almost every city he can. I am not a huge fan, but i will admit he knows how to make powerful songs. Känn Ingen Sorg is a movie based on the songs of Håkan Hellström. Can you make a powerful movie based on songs by a musician, or is this idea too big to make it work ?

Pål ( Adam Lundgren ) loves writing songs, and play them mostly alone. His best friends Johnny ( Jonathan Andersson ) and Lena ( Josefin Neldén ) really love his music. As they head out to party in the city of Gothenburg, Lena want to tell Pål how she really feel about him. She does not get the chance to finish what she planned to say, so Pål have no idea she have feelings for him. While Pål goes to rock gig in a small club, he meets a singer named Eva. She finds out Pål write his own songs, and love his material. She offers him to play his songs in her own band, as he is invited to play at Eva´s parents wedding. The gig goes terribly wrong, and Pål leaves frustrated. He can´t play infront of a big audience, unless he is blindfolded. Pål falls in love with Eva, while she is not sure what she wants, and continue have fun with other guys. Pål´s grandfather Rolle ( Tomas Von Brömssen ) would like to see Pål take an ordinary job, because the music industry is hard to succeed in. On a trip to Copenhagen with Eva and Johnny, something is not right. Pål is left alone on the train back to Gothenburg, as he finds cocaine in Johnny´s bag. He flushes it down in a toilet, and confront Johnny about this, Johnny is furious, and know this is a big problem, if he cant fix new cocaine, his customers will most likely kill him. Pål tries to fix this somehow, but it turns out he is too late. Johnny is killed, while Pål is becoming more observant about Lena´s feelings towards him.

For those who know me personally, know how skeptical i am on swedish movies. Not every title is bad, it is just that for the most part, swedish movies are made in a certain way, to fit the Svensson style, for those who love to dance to Svänzons, and eat shrimps to a glass of white whine. I dont belong in this pattern, so when i see a swedish movie that stands out of this pattern, i become very curious. Känn Ingen Sorg is actually, really entertaining, and sad also. The story of Pål´s life in Gothenburg feels believable, that this could be anyone, in their youth. Directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein finds a way to bring Håkan Hellströms songs to life, in the storyline, and even makes this feel magical in some scenes. The scenes of Gothenburg looks really great, it is easy to love the city even more when you see how beautiful Gothenburg is. Adam Lundgren proves that he is one of the best actors of his young generation in Sweden, if you have not seen Torka aldrig tårar utan handskar on dvd, i suggest you rent it, and you will understand why he is such a great actor. I am shocked to say this, but Känn Ingen Sorg is the best swedish movie so far this year, a great story about life, and tragedy, how we find our place in society to be accepted, just the way we are. Some of the songs of Håkan Hellström are so honest, i feel like i need to listen more to him know after watching Känn Ingen Sorg. I don´t think we will find anything as good as this from Sweden this year, so if you can see it wherever you live in this world, i recommend that you try, and you might also be surprised.

Rating: DDDD

tisdag 17 september 2013


A long long time ago, before Twilight even existed, a danish director took the worlds critics by storm. A very original man, who found his way in to a wider cinema audience with such movies like Breaking The Waves, Dancing In The Dark and of course Dogville. What i enjoy mostly about Lars Von Trier is his way of making stories come to life. He have a very talented visual style, and of course his way of letting actors making strong characters come to life. I have to admit i have not seen Melancholia yet, and i still bought it on dvd, shame on me. I will look into it eventually. Antichrist became controversial upon the release, since this was a very different project from Von Trier´s earlier work. With a more darker, sadistic tone than before, is Antichrist the new start for this legendary director, or should he have left the idea in the hands of someone else ?

A couple lost their son. To process their grief, they decide to travel to a house, where the husband want to help his wife with treatment ( he is a therapist ).. He begins his treatment, hoping to find what she is most afraid of. But while he digs deeper inside her mind, eveything is about to go way out of line.

I am not going to compare Antichrist to the previous work of Von Trier, simply because this is very different for his earlier movies. This is very disturbing, provoked, and a very deep story told in a very dark way. Both Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Daffoe does very well performances, but there is one problem. Even if i like the pictorial scenes, i feel that Lars Von Trier could have done something different with his approach. The disturbing images are well made, it´s just that something is missing. Maybe i was hoping to see more about the past, what happened when they lost their son, to see how this all started, instead of running straight into their broken lives. But still, Antichrist is a very well made motion picture, especially if you like art drama, with horror infleunces. Be warned about the sex scenes, you will see it all, and if you don´t like this, i suggest you go rent Mean Girls instead.

Rating: DDD

lördag 14 september 2013

The Conjuring

I love James Wan. Ok, maybe not in the way it sounds, i simply love his movies. Not only is he a talented director, he have a great sense of photography and style. The first Saw movie, took the world by storm when it came out in 2004. Visually Saw proved that torture horror can be effective, if you have a good story. The sequels did not match all the way, but thankfully James Wan decided to do other horror projects, like Dead Silence and Insidious. The fact is that Insidious was really good, showing a completely different take on haunted houses. While i read interviews during his interviews for The Conjuring, i felt that this might be his best work so far. Is it finally time for James Wan to win an Golden Globe Award for best director, or is The Conjuring not as good as his previous projects ?

In the year 1971, Carolyn Perror and Roger Perron move into a farmhouse, located in Harrisville, Rhode Island, together with their 5 daughters. The couple is very pleased, and hope to start a new life. Everything seems alright, until some of the daughters begin to feel someone touching them while they sleep. Thinking this is just a prank, even more strange things are about to happen. One night all hell breaks loose, it seems that this house is possessed by a evil spirit. Carolyn manage to get in contact with Ed Warren ( Patrick Wilson ) and Lorraine Warren ( Vera Farmiga ), who both work as paranormal investogators. They agree to take a look at the Perror family´s house. While arriving and looking around, Lorraine understand that this house is possessed, by something that wants this family dead. For each day, everything is becoming worse, and The Warrens need to find a way to stop this madness.

I have seen so many haunted house movies, it is easy to forget all the titles. Most of them look exactly the same, so there is no way you need to bother following the story. But here comes the good news. The Conjuring is really good. I think i need to say this again, The Conjuring is really good. The story may be simple, but damn, the acting is really good, and match the storyline.  Vera Farmiga as Lorraine is simply amazing, she really found a way to portrait this legendary woman in a very stylish way, and still bring the acting to a very high level. But the pest part of The Conjuring is how scary it is. I usually don´t jump in a seat, but here i did, holy shit. There are no chopped body parts, no pails of blood, but that´s ok. Because James Wan knows how to make an effective horror movie, and this time he really hit a jackpot. Earlier this year i read a woman saying Mama was the best horror movie of this year so far......Yes, you read it right folks, and it is sad to read this, because Mama was not scary, the plot was destroyed with the ridiculous CGI effects. Here on the other hand, we get how it is supposed to be, a story based on true events, made with a big heart for great material. I suggest you buy a ticket today, there is no excuse why you can´t see The Conjuring, you simply have to see it.

Rating: DDDD

onsdag 11 september 2013

World War Z

Most people would probably say Ingmar Bergman is one of the most important directors of all time. I have to say i disagree, and would rather pick George A Romero, say what ? Yes, this man is one of the greatest directors of all time. Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, and the list goes on. Of course these are zombie movies, but there is a message in every movie he makes, about life itself and human behavior that not all directors manage to deliver into a cinema screen. Zombies are effective in motion pictures, not just because they eat people, but you can make a great story based on zombie invasions. Of course, in some cases, we get some bad ones, remember the remake of Day Of The Dead in 2008 ? It is so bad, that you will guaranteed want to kill yourself to stop watching. When i heard Brad Pitt was to star in a zombie movie, i felt very confused. Brad fighting zombies ? I felt very skeptical, until i watched the trailer. Is World War Z a great popcorn movie, or is this a dull try for Brad to get another box office hit ?

Gerry Lane ( Brad Pitt ) used to work as a UN employee. Nowdays he focus more on his family. While driving downtown, he and his family notice traffic is chaotic, and his wife Karin ( Mireille Enos ) is worried. Suddenly all hell breaks loose. It appears a virus is out there, where infected attack people and bite them, making more people infected. Gerry and his family manage to escape to an appartment, as he manage to get in contact with his former work friends in UN, to pick them up by a chopper. They have to wait until the next morning, so they try and stay quiet in the apartment, where they were invited in to by another family. The next morning the chopper lands on the roof, but Gerry tries to stop the infected to get outside the building roof. As the family is taken inside the chopper, they fly off to an hangar ship. On board the hangar ship, Gerry is told Americas President is dead, and they no longer have anyone to turn too for help, but they need to do something about the situation. UN asks Gerry to come back, and help virologist, Dr. Andrew Fassbach ( Elyes Gabel ) to do a mission in Korea to find answers to this plague, or his family will be send back in too land. He agrees to make his family safe. In Korea, Gerry talks to a locked up prisoner, a former CIA operative, who tells Gerry that he can find answers to what happened to the world, in Jerusalem. Gerry is informed to talk to Director of Mossad Jurgen Warmbrunn ( Ludi Boeken ). Gerry travel to Israel to find answers to what is happening all over the world. He is closer to the truth, but time is running out for the world population.

You might think this is another zombie action movie with nothing more than great effects, but thankfully World War Z is suprisingly good. The acting is mostly very good, the Cinema graphic scenery looks great, while the zombie attacks are very intense. Brad Pitt works very well in the lead role, he is a great actor, and i have to say, this time he really surprised me taking on this genre. I wont tell too many details, but the scene where zombies climb the walls of Jerusalen looks really good, and the chopper scene with zombies hanging underneath ? I love details like these ones. The action is almost non stop, so there is no way you will fall asleep. Director Marc Forster ( mostly known for directing Monster´s Ball and James Bond movie Quantum Of Solace ), knows how to entertain the audience, and also bring up political issues that fits the storyline. I can´t complain really on many details, this is good enough for the whole family to watch, especially with a cup of tea and slippers. What´s more cozy than flesh eating zombies ? Exactly, nothing.

Rating: DDDD

måndag 2 september 2013


In the year 2008, french director Laurent Cantet released his motion picture The Class. Critics loved the story about children who have problems at school, that goes out of control. The acting was very good, and you could tell Laurent wanted to show a honest portrait about a teacher, who have to try and help students, in the worst possible situation. I was surprised to see he decided to make a 1950´s american style motion picture, with Foxfire. This is actually a remake from the 1996 movie with the same name, but this time around the story is set in a different year. With very young fresh actors, who have only been in smaller tv productions, is Foxfire a solid production from this acclaimed director, or is he stepping out of his respectfull image ?

Legs ( Raven Adamson ) is a young girl, who is fed up with being treated like an object. She forms the society Firefox with 4 more girls, by tatooing a flame on their backs. This symbol will make them stronger together, to go against anyone who does not listen to their message. While they begin to make their society name heard, painting their symbol on buildings, they end up making big problems in their community. But this society will survive, no matter what anyone tries to do to stop them.

I have not seen the original movie from 1996, maybe because i never knew there was a remake, until i read that Foxfire was based on the original story. Either way, while watching Foxfire i noticed 2 things. The young actors could possibly be new talents to look forward to, they can actually act and show human emotions. My second thought is that the story of a female society could take place anywhere in this world, since women and girls are treated like objects, not humans. And this is where Foxfire tries to bring a message, enough of the male dominated world, women are just as important. Some of the society scenes makes you realise, how easy it is when you are young to be affected by others, to do whatever it takes to be respected. This is a story that leaves a strong message, and for that director Laurent Cantet manage to make the message clear. While i enjoy this story, there is one problem. This motion picture is 2 hours and 23 minutes, way too long. And even if the story is interesting, it should have been cut down to 2 hours, and it might have been even better. Still, Foxfire is still a good example of a strong story, that can be watched by a audience with open minds. The acting is really good, especially from Raven Adamson, maybe we will see her soon in a independent project ? I suggest you check this one out, if you like intelligent imagery sense of cinema screen.

Rating: DDD