onsdag 25 februari 2015

Jupiter Ascending

In the year 1999, science fiction had a new cult film in everyone´s minds. The Matrix was something that we have never seen before. A very different sci fi film, with ground breaking special effects. To be honest, it might be one of the greatest sci fi action films of all time. What surprised me most of all back then, was to see Keanue Reeves do such a great performance, because i never really thought he was a great actor, unless you count in Speed. The Matrix was directed by The Wachowskis Brothers, and this gave them a chance to show the world a very different sci fi epic trilogy. There were 2 more movies released, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The sequels could not match the quality of the first film, but were still entertaining. While The Matrix trilogy ended, The Wachowskis Brothers moved on to their next film V For Vendetta. A very different motion picture compared to their previous work, focusing on being a political thriller. Based on the 1982 Vertigo comic book by the same name, V For Vendetta , the story is based on the Guy Fawkes masked vigilante, known as " V ". He tries to help the people of United Kingdom from the fascist police. I actually enjoyed this film, because it both had an unique look, and the acting was really good from many of the actors. Unfortunately, The Wachowskis Brothers decided to do something that they should not have done with their next project. Speed Racer, a sports action film, based on the Japanese manga series by the same name, became a movie adaption of this popular series. It is awful, trust me. After i watched this film, i wanted to burn it, somewhere. I could not belive that the directors of The Matrix would do a film like this. They did, and i hope they will regret it for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, maybe they did listen to the bad reviews, and the fact that people did not like this film, so they moved on with their next project . Cloud Atlas, an enormous sci fi film , almost 3 hours long, had a both very unique visual style, also telling different stories in different time perspectives. Compared to Speed Racer, this was a masterpiece, compared to The Matrix, they did not manage to capture the same magic. Still it proved that they were trying to do something different again, and it was not all bad. So here we are with another sci fi film, named Jupiter Ascending. Is this the next epic sci fi film from The Wachowskis Brothers, or is this another release that you might as well forget ?

The residents of Earth have no idea, that they are in danger. Other life forms on other planets have been taken over by families of alien royalty. They are now targeting Earth , to harvest the planet, to make a youth serum. When the matriarch of the House of Abrasax dies, her children Balem ( Eddie Redmayne ), Kalique ( Tuppance Middleton ) and Titus ( Douglas Booth ), quarrel over the inheritance. Balem inherits an enormous production facility on Jupiter. Earth is their next source. Years go by, and on Earth, Jupiter ( Mila Kunis ) works with cleaning the homes of wealthy people, with her Aleksa ( Maria Doyle Kennedy and her aunt Nino ( Frog Stone ). Jupiter want to buy a telescope, but don´t have enough money to buy it. So she agree to sell her eggs, with the help of her cousin Vladie ( Kick Gurry ). Jupiter use the identity of her friend Katherine Dunlevy ( Vanessa Kirby ). While she stays in the home of Katherine, she becomes a witness that Katherine is attacked by extraterrestrial " Keepers ". Jupiter managed to take pictures of the extraterrestrial visitors, but she is discovered and her memory is erased. While  the egg donation procedure have started, it turns out that the doctors and nurses are identified as Balem's agents. They were sent to kill her, but she is saved by Caine Wise ( Channing Tatum ) , a genetically engineered ex-Soldier sent by Titus. Jupiter does not understand why Balem want her dead. She hope to get some answers at some point,  while Caine take Jupiter to one of his old friends Stinger Apini ( Sean Bean ). Chosen Balem hunters locate Jupiter and Caine, trying to wipe Caine out. They kidnap Jupiter and take her to Kalique´s Palace. Here Jupiter is told why she is so important, she is a genetically identical reincarnation of the dead matriarch. This makes her the rightful owner of Earth. Caine knows that Balem have other plans for Jupiter, so he needs to stop him before time is running out.

It is a good thing they will never make a sequel to Speed Racer again, or a remake, because that would be a disaster. To see The Wachowskis Brothers back into the sci fi genre again is great, because we know they can make great sci fi action films, if they find the right script. Jupiter Ascending could have been great, if they would have told the actors that they need to act, not to just talk into a camera. You see, the biggest problem here is that Mila Kunis is not a great lead role, and i know she can do better. She was good in the comedy Ted, with Mark Wahlberg, here she simply feels wrong for her character. She looks great, but that does not matter unless you actually act, then you might as well throw in someone else. And the villain Balem Abrasax, played by english actor Eddie Redmayne, is one of the worst villains of all time in a sci fi action film. I can´t belive that he choosed to play this character, considering he recently played Stephen Hawkins in The Theory Of Everything. He did win an Oscar for his performance, but here he should have won a razzie award for worst male actor. His voice is so annoying, you just want to strangle him right away. Channing Tatum as the hero, is ok, but not much more. He have done much better performances in the past, even if i am not a big fan. The CGI effects looks good, so i can´t complain about the look of the universe, and Jupiter. Still, what is left here is a big sci fi film, with plenty of action, but with a very dull twist. Jupiter Ascending tries to give us pieces of everything, gun battles, aliens, space wars, and i still feel that there are too many problems here. The Wachowskis Brothers was supposed to release this film long ago, but it was pushed back, for different reasons. Maybe they should have taken more time, to change some of the actors, and make the story more interesting. If you loved The Matrix trilogy, i have a feeling you will be dissapointed, because this is not one of the better Wachowskis Brothers films, actually one of their worse. Not as awful as Speed Racer, i doubt they will ever make anything as bad as that film again. But with the final results in our hands, Jupiter Ascending is not what we asked for. If i want to watch a good sci fi film, i can just watch Blade Runner again, while knowing i wont be let down.

Rating: DD

tisdag 24 februari 2015

Wyrmwood - Road Of The Dead

Last year in june i married to my beautiful and wonderful wife. It was a lovely wedding, with great food , nice live music, and funny guests. Even the cake was wonderful. But there was one thing missing, and that was a zombie apocalypse. I would love to see my wife with a chainsaw, splitting zombies in half, while my sister Isabelle uses a shotgun and blow their heads into pieces, sounds like a wonderful day indeed. Because honestly, where would we not want a zombie apocalypse ? Christmas day ? New Years Eve ? Exactly, every big holiday would be a joy for families to wipe out zombies. I have always been a zombie lover ( don´t get me wrong, i don´t make love to zombies....i promise ), and love to see different zombie films coming out. Some of them may not be very good, i just check them out anyway, but sometimes we do get surprises. Overall, i can´t Think of many things in Life more Beautiful than flesh eating zombies, it feels like a nice hot summer vacation at the beach in Greece, like you never want to leave. Zombie invasions have been very popular since AMC released their tv show The Walking Dead, and there is a reason for that. This is one of the best tv shows ever made. When it comes to zombie films, lately there have not been many titles that felt interesting. Until i saw the trailer of the new australian horror film Wyrmwood. It actually looked like a fun ride. Australian horror films have proved themselves to have delivered some good ones, especially The Babadook not so long ago. Wolf Creek 2 was also fun, just because it was all about a local bushman butcher, trying to make sure that he take care of stupid tourists. Plenty of meals can be made, and who does not like a hot meal served ? A zombie invasion in the Australian landscape sounds like a wonderful idea, so i just had to check this one out to see if Wyrmwood had something for us zombie fans. Is Wyrmwood another proof that Australia makes great horror films, or should they have stayed out of the zombie genre instead ?

A meteor shower occur all over Australia one night. Suddenly zombies begin walking everywhere. During a photo session in a studio in Bulla Bulla, photographer Brooke ( Bianca Bradey ) is taking pictures at her model, with the help of her assistant. Suddenly the model falls on the ground, and have become infected. She attack the assistant, and now Brooke have to survive, stuck inside the studio with 2 flesh hungry zombies. Meanwhile, Brooke´s brother Barry ( Jay Gallagher ), is informed with the situation what is going on. He take his wife Annie ( Catherine Terracini ) and their daughter Meganne ( Meganne West )  out to the countryside. Unfortunately, buth Meganne and Annie have been infected, as they also turn into zombies, Barry have no other choice than to kill them both. As he does, he tries to kill himself, but with no luck. Suddenly another survivor shows up, Chalker ( Yure Covich ), who suggest they help each other out. Barry attack Chalker, but is knocked out. He wakes up later in Chalker´s truck. Barry attacks him again, but finally realise that they chance to survive is bigger if they help each other. When the dies, in the middle of the road, they have no other choice than to walk along the forest. Suddenly Chalker is killed with a head shot. Another survivor, Benny ( Leon Burchill ) shot him by mistake, thinking he was a zombie. Barry suggest they continue to walk, to find a secure loctaion. They find a garage, where armed people seems to have both weapons, armery, and a car. They all decide to help each other, to escape and find a better place. Barry is determined to find his sister, even if his life could end.

Hell Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wyrmwood - Road Of The Dead is a zombie feast with so much to give us, i don´t know where to start. This is a combination of Mad Max, Evil Dead and the early films of Peter Jackson. The tempo is incredible fast, and there is so much action, you might get orgasm....im serious. The best part is that all zombies are no CGI, every single one is made out of make up and hand made details. So you can tell they spend a lot of time trying to make it look good. The budget may not be the biggest but i honestly don´t care. This is such a fun ride, with so many crazy killings and funny moments, i feel like dancing all over Skönsbergs Centrum. Some of the characters are really cool, especially the maniac known as The Doc, reminds me of the insane scientist in Re-Animator. Director Kiah Roache-Turner proves himself to be a very talented director, in this debut feature film, and i am shocked how good he is to find different details that i have never seen before. Imagine using a zombies blood as fuel, have we ever seen that before ? I doubt it, this is a brilliant idea. Once you find your way into the crazy situation, you will realise why we all love this genre so much. Everything is insane, with lots of violence, exploding heads, creepy sound effects and of course really cool characters. Will this be hated by Jehovas Witnesses ? Yes, of course. That is one of the reasons why you should watch Wyrmwood, to make sure Jehovas will never be let out on the streets. There may not be a lot of original ideas here, but the strength of this film is the combination of australian comedy, and the intensive action scenes, that work so well combined. There is so much violence, and blood, that if you are a fan of old school classics, you will definetely have a great time watching this. Usually acting can be a problem in B films, but here i feel that both Jay Gallagher and Leon Burchill does a good job with their characters. Remember i mentioned The Doc earlier ? Berynn Schwerdt does a really good performance as this insane doctor, who does not seem to have any limits at all. Wyrmwood is a blast, delivering one of the funniest zombie action movies in a long time. If you love this genre, i suggest you buy this one, to support quality films. Now excuse me, i just need to fire my harpoon gun, these damn zombies have taken over our laundry room, can´t they leave anything alone ?

Rating: DDDD

Taken 3

There are 3 rules you have to know, if you meet Liam Neeson.

1. Never try and be cocky to him, if you do, you will end up in a body bag.
1. Never say anything about his latest haircut, if you do, that scissor will be in your eye within 5 seconds.
2. Most important of all, you never say the word :- Dansband, to him. If he hears this word, he will blow up an entire city, within just 2 minutes.

Great, now you know the most important steps into Not To Do With Liam Neeson, a great way to make sure everyone stays safe. Irish actor Liam Neeson is an icon, doing a lot of great motion pictures. Most people would probably say Schindler´s List, and there is a reason for that. It is one of the best films of director Steven Spielberg, and Liam Neeson was fantastic as Oskar Schindler. I think we have to mention his classic film Darkman, directed by Sam Raimi. Now this is an action film that really stood out of the genre, with a very dark twist. I would still say even today that this is one of the best action films of the 90´s, without explaining why. There are so many great characters that Liam have managed to make his own. The image of him might have changed, when he released an action film called Taken in 2008. Directed by Pierre Morel and produced by Luc Besson, this was an intensive action film, with lots of wonderful violence and guns, just like it should be. It became a huge box office hit worldwide, and Liam was back on top of most respected actors. Of course a sequel came out, 4 years later, simply called Taken 2. This became an even bigger box office hit than the first film. But to be honest i was not really impressed with the quality of the film. It had lots of action, but the characters did not feel very interesting this time, the acting had many problems, and most of all the tension that the first film had was not here. So here we are, with a third ( and said to be the last one ) film in the Taken series. When i found out that a thrid film was on the way, i was not really excited. Because i doubted that they would manage to find the same balance that the first film had. Still i decided to give it a chance, and i also like Liam Neeson as an actor. Is this thrid film finally a worthy sequel to the great first film, or is this another proof of why they should have made one only ?

Bryan Mills ( Liam Neeson ) goes to visit his daughter Kim Mills ( Maggie Grace ), to give her a gift. Just after the visit, Bryan gets a visit from his ex wife Lenore ( Famke Janssen ). She tells him that she have problems, in her relationship with her husband, Stuart St. John ( Dougray Scott ). Bryan can tell Leonore is still interested in him, but advice her that they should stay friends instead. Suddenly, Stuart comes to visit Bryan to stay away from his wife. Bryan promise to do so. The next day, Lenore texts Bryan to meet her at her home. Bryan decide to go, even if he knows that Stuart warned him. As he arrives, he finds Lenore dead, as the home is invaded by police officers, who think he is the murderer. Bryan manage to escape, and deliver the tragic news to his daughter Kim. He promise her that he did not do this, and will find out the truth. LAPD Inspector Franck Dotzler ( Forest Whitaker ) is on the case, trying to capture Bryan. But he does not know how profesional Bryan is, until he finds out his background. Meanwhile, Bryan recover surveillance footage from a convenience store , where Lenore being abducted by unidentified men. While trying to find more proof of who abducted and killed Lenore, Bryan is getting himself into more problems, as the truth is revealed.

Let´s get to the positive news first. Taken 3 is not as bad as Taken 2. Maybe because they at least tried to do something different this time to make it look more than last time. I can´t complain about Liam Neeson, he sure knows how to kick ass, and i would not want to mess with him. And now let´s talk about some problems. The story itself could have been interesting, since the plot is different from the previous 2 films, but somehow it feels quite too easy. The tension from the first film is not here, and the action scenes are not as well made as the first film was. Thankfully this is still not as bad as Taken 2. And that is thanks to Liam Neeson. Even if he is handling a script with flaws, he can at least try and make the best out of the situation. Forest Whitaker may not be as good as he can be in other films, but at least he gives this film some entertainment value. The chase on the murder suspect feels very simple, no surprising turns are waiting around the corner, and that is a detail that should have been there. Without Liam Neeson, this would have been nothing to remember, he is the reason why we enjoy seeing him kicking ass, and find different ways out of problems. Director Olivier Megaton did direct Taken 2, and with this third sequel he proves that he at least tried to do something different.. He have improved himself since last time, but not enough to make this worth watching. I prefer his action film Colombiana, a much more well made action thriller, with the very hot Zoe Saldana in the lead role. If you just want something to watch, Taken 3 is not the worst choice. But i can recommend many action films that are much better than this. All respect for Liam Neeson, but i hope this is his final Taken film. I think it is time he moves on and find an interesting character choice for his next film. Sometimes, you should not repeat yourself, even how much money you get paid for it.

Rating: DD

söndag 22 februari 2015

See No Evil 2

As a kid, and during my teenage years, i used to watch a lot of wrestling. WWE Wrestling with Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, The Bushwackers, the late 80´s and the early 90´s had a lot of original wrestlers. I remember some of my school friends try to do wrestling fights in the school yard. I remember especially one guy named André, who tried to do some kind of combination of Van Damme kicks and The Ultimate Warrior wrestling. He did not stand a chance to the other guy, so i had a good laugh. Nowdays i am not following WWE very much, not because i think its boring, simply because i like MMA. This is real action, with kicks and punches that really hit their victim. Speaking of WWE, did you know that the wrestling company have released several action and horror films for many years ? Yes indeed, with wrestling stars of course. Maybe some of you have seen John Cena in The Marine, or 12 Rounds ? Action films guaranteed to please wrestling lovers, with lots of weapons, and fights. I am not sure if you remember, but in 2006, WWE Studios released the horror film See No Evil. With wrestler Kane, in the leading role as slasher Jakob Goodnight, it became a small box office hit in USA. A slasher horror film, in the style of Friday The 13th, combined with other classic slashers. It was not unique, or that special in any way. So here we are, 8 years later with a unexpected sequel. Is this sequel better than the first film, or is this another sequel made that will be forgotten for an eternity ?

Amy ( Danielle Harris, Seth ( Kaj-Erik Eriksen ) and their boss Holden ( Michael Eklund ), are all working at an graveyard . They take care of new bodies, delivered to them. It is Amy´s birthday, so she is beginning to prepare herself for a night out with friends when her shift ends. Just as she is about to leave, Holden is told that there are a lot of bodies coming in, who was murdered by Jakob Goodnight ( Kane ). He is also dead, and taken to the graveyard. This means that Amy and Seth have to take care of the new bodies, and Amy can´t leave to her birthday party. What she does not know, is that Holden have planned a birthday party in the morgue for Amy, so she is surprised to see her friends Tamara ( Katherine Isabelle ), Kayla ( Chelan Simmons ), Carter ( Lee Majdoub ) and her brother Will ( Greyston Holt ) showing up. As the party starts, none of them knows that Kane is still alive, and he is not finished finding more victims.

When a sequel comes out almost 8 years later, you would hope that they really want to make it better than the first film. Thankfully it is not as awful as some of these WWE sequels have been in the past, maybe because See No Evil 2 are directed by The Soska Sisters ( Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska ). They directed the surprisingly good horror film American Mary, that became of one my personal favourite horror films of 2012. You can tell that they have tried to bring a different view in this sequel, with good looking cinematography. And i will say that Kane looks bad ass, with his new mask. The fun thing about splatter films like this, is that you dont´t need to think about the plot too much. We want to see bodies being cut open, body parts with big flesh wounds. Sadly, there is not much else to be happy about. The killings are not many, and that is a detail that should have been there. When you have a big killer like Kane, let him go loose and make some victims slaughtered. Sure, we do have some killings here, but very few and some of them are not very effective. Instead the strength of See No Evil 2 is the atmosphere, and to see Kane in action. I am also glad to see Katharine Isabelle here, who was the lead actor of American Mary, she looks fantastic. When you have seen almost everything in horror films, you can figure out what is going to happen quite early. I prefer intelligent horror films that have a great plot, with something unexpected happening when you least expect it. See No Evil 2 have nothing from that, and this makes it a pretty ordinary horror film, that fit college students better. Nothing awful, just simply a quite boring sequel. Hopefully something interesting will come along this spring that have something original. Until then, i suggest you go and rent House Of 1000 Corpses if you want to have a good time.

Rating: DD

tisdag 10 februari 2015

Still Alice

I had a rough childhood. Things happened to me that no child should have been exposed to. I was not raped or moslested, but was a bully victim in a much larger scale than the usual victim. Imagine being beaten with a baseball bat, kicked on while lying on the concrete, thrown out naked infront of people to humiliate me, the list never stops. What saved me was the love of my grandfather and my mother, who managed to support me through therapy sessions. After many years of pain, and trying to find my own way in life, i decided to help other people in health care. I could not change the past, but i could make the future better, for myself and knowing i can make people happy. There is a feeling hard to describe, how it feels to know you make someone happy, who can´t live without your help. It does not have to be anything big, sometimes small things matter more than big details. Thinking back since i began working in health care, i arranged christmas dinners, trips to Denmark, music concert visits for handicapped people that did not know what they could do with help. I gave them a chance to see a different view on life. Until this day, i still meet some of these people who i helped in my hometown Uddevalla and get a big hug. These memories of our trips and moments will always be in their memories. Even if i don´t do as much as i used to in these areas in these days, i travel a lot, to explore life. I also talk to disabled people in different countries, when some of them may ask me what language i speak, it is nice to connect to people in different situations. Speaking of travelling, could you imagine if you thought you know where you are, when in fact you have no idea ? We could all have memory problems, when we get older. In some cases it could be the disease known as Alzheimers. This is a diagnose that people worldwide struggle with, including their family members trying to help their loved ones, to live a normal life as possible. Still Alice is a new film, that tries to lift up the subject of Alzheimer and how it can affect us as humans. Julianne Moore is a very talented actor, and have proved herself in many great motion pictures. Directed by 2 directors ( unusual ), Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, have been praised by critics lately. Is this film another proof how great Julianne Moore is at finding great characters, or is this a story that should have been given to someone else ?

Dr. Alice Howland ( Julianne Moore ) is an practicing professor of linguistics. She is very respected both for her work, and for her way to teach university students in class. One day while she seems to forget small details, begin to become larger problems. She seek help to find out if she might have a tumour. It turns out that she is in the early stage of Alzheimer´s disease. Her husband John Howland ( Alec Baldwin ) is with her when she finds out her diagnose. They decide to let their 3 children find out the bad news. Her son Tom Howland ( Hunter Parrish ), and her daughters Anna Howland-Jones ( Kate Bosworth ) and Lydia Howland ( Kristen Stewart ) are all devastated by the news. Alice is worried about her youngest daughter Lydia, and try to make her inspired to get herself an education. Weeks pass, and Alice is changing, as she forget details and how to function in ordinary day life. Lydia tries to help her as much as possible, worried if something could happen when no one is around.

How do you live with Alzheimers, when you start to loose memory, and how does it affect your children and family ? The subject is nothing new, there are several films that take on the subject. The good news is that Still Alice is a very honest portrait about a woman, living with Alzheimers, and Julianne Moore is really good in the lead role. To act as a woman, living with her condition, is not easy to show in emotions. She manage to both show this with facial expressions, and in words. There are many families worldwide who have someone in the family, could be their parents, or grandparents, who loose their memory. It is a very emotional diagnose, and not easy to live with. Just image that there are people who don´t even know they have kids, or a partner? Still Alice tries to show us the progres, how a successfull woman suddenly change into a completely different person, than who she was before. No matter where we come from, our social status, or how well paid you are, anyone of us could be affected. The most important thing with an Alzheimers patient is to be there, even if he or she does not remember you. They might hurt themselves without understanding what they have done, or do other strange things that they usually don´t do. But if you make sure that person have all the help he or she needs, at least you know that the risk of something bad happening is much smaller. Our brain is a mystery, how we can change from one day, into a completely different person. One nice surprise is that Alec Baldwin is here, an actor i have followed through many years. This may not be his greatest performance so far, but i still feel he at least found a worthy character. Kristen Stewart have never been a great actor ( trying to forget her performances in awful Twilight films ), but she did do well in Welcome To Rileys. Here she does at least one of her better performances so far, especially in the scenes with Julianne Moore. To be honest, Julianne Moore is the reason why i found Still Alice to be a very emotional film. To see someone become sick, and trying to fight everyday against the disease is hard to watch. Especially when someone in your own family have been diagnosed. Some of the characters, may not feel very interesting. But it is the story around Alice, and how she tries to survive that makes this film work so well. I know that Julianne Moore have won several Awards for her perfomance in Still Alice, and that she is nominated for an Oscar Academy Award, if she wins it will be very important, especially for all people who live with Alzheimers. You should see this film, to get a view of how this serious disease is. Life is unfair many times, you just have to find a way to live as good as possible. I have not seen the previous films from directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, but with Still Alice i am curious to see if they have done other films in quality of this one. With this film they have proven themselves to be worthy the positive feedback from both audiences and critics.

Rating: DDDD

söndag 8 februari 2015


If you mention the name Christopher Nolan among movie lovers, and movie critics, be prepared to be hugged, or they might even make love to you. This is how happy people are to hear his name, mainly because he is such a talented director. The first proof of that, for me personally, was his film Memento. A very unique film, told backwards, instead of the usual pattern. I can not say i have ever seen anything like Memento before, this proves why Christopher Nolan is a very powerful director, to make something original is not easy to do. His next film Insomnia, was a remake of the norwegian film ( same name ). A really good thriller, with Al Pacino delivering a very strong performance. Robin Williams also delivered a very solid performance. When the word was out, Christopher Nolan will direct Batman Begins, the hype was on. Both Batman fans and critics were really excited, and it turned out that it was the best possible choice for this comic book adaption. Batman Begins was the best Batman film for many years, and it got even better with the sequel The Dark Knight, with Heath Ledger, doing his best performance ever, before he tragically died. You might think that Nolan would stop here, and not do anything original like Memento again. Thankfully that did happen, with his next film Inception. A really intelligent sci fi thriller, with a very unique plot. Leonardo Di Caprio and Ellen Page, did both really good performances, including Tom Berenger, surprised to see him back in a big Hollywood production again. The Dark Knight Rises Again, the final Batman film by director Christopher Nolan, gave us a really good finish, with some really good perfomances. So after very different categories, and some very different film choices, Nolan is now back with his latest film Interstellar. Ever since they rumours started around this film, the fans have been waiting patiently to find out more information around the film. Insterstellar looks like a very different film from his previous releases, this time in a sci fi genre, different from Inception. With a great cast of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine, is this sci fi film another amazing film from this incredible director, or is he running out of ideas at this moment ?

Earth is in danger. Food is running out and all over the planet, people are constantly in need to make sure that they are as safe as possible. Former NASA pilot Cooper ( Matthew McConaughey ), is now working as a farmer, trying to make sure that people have food to eat in these desperate times. Cooper is confronted by NASA, when his daughter Murphy ( Mackenzie Coy ), have been contacted by an unknown intelligence, who is sending coded messages through gravitational waves. NASA discover that there is a wormhole in our own solar system. To find out what is beyond this wormhole, professor John Brand ( Michael Caine ) want to send Cooper out in space, with a team of professional astronauts , Amelia Brand ( Anne Hathaway ), Romilly ( David Gyasi ) and Doyle ( Wes Bentley ). Cooper accept the mission, because he also want to know if there is a planet beyond our solar system, where humans may actually be able to live. As the mission begins, everything seems to be fine. But during this journey to an unkown universe, they will soon see that everything may not be what it seems.

I want to make something clear. Comparing Interstellar with his previous films is not easy, because this is a completely different motion picture. It is possible that this is his most majestic film so far, considering the amazing CGI effects. While Inception had some incredible action sequences, Interstellar is a completely different science fiction film. You could say that there is more depth here, dealing with many questions we have about life, and how we react in different complicated situations. There is a feeling that Nolan had inspiration from Stanley Kubrick´s classis 2001 - A Space Odyssey, while he made Interstellar. And it is easy to understand why he would have inspiration from master director Kubrick, he had a style like no other. The story, with a very wide perspective on human life, makes sure you feel intrigued. What would we do if the World have no more food ? What will we do if the humans can not survive without help from another planet ? Is it possible to live on Another planet, or is this vision more like a fairytale ? There are many subjects that we constantly ask ourselves during almost 3 hours. We all know that many people starve around the world, and we try and fix this as good as we can, or is this really true ? Interstellar makes sure you get to ask yourself if we can make a beter change, or if it is too late? Matthew McConaughey is absolutely brilliant as the former NASA pilot Cooper. You can tell he will do anything to complete his mission, in need to help humanity. His character feels very emotional, and he is ready to risk everything to complete the mission. Anne Hathaway shows once again why she is such a powerful actor, trying to complete this mission with a lot of questions in her mind. The incredible space scenes takes your breath away, so detailed and well made, it feels like you are there. Maybe not as powerful as the film Gravity was, but still director Christopher Nolan gives us a view of universe, from his perspective. Interstellar is a film that might be the most dramatic project coming from Nolan, it is nice to see that he is trying a different turn. Is Earth becoming too weak for us to continue to live there ? This issue is going to continue be discussed, and i would not be surprised if people will be able to travel to another planet in the future, and live there. Technology is developing, and will make us go much more further in the universe. Interstellar tries to give us a view of what could be possible, if we want to find a new planet to live on. I have so many questions i would like to know the answer to after watching Interstellar, that is a sign to how Christopher Nolan works on each film. He want to tell stories that matters, where people feel inspired. Maybe not his best film, but definetely one of the most important sci fi films in a very long time.

Rating: DDDD

fredag 6 februari 2015

The Gambler

Every year, worldwide, casinos are making a hell of a lot of money on gambling addicts. For those who can handle their money, should continue to play, as long as no one gets into trouble. On the other hand, those people who have no limits, and can spend all their money and loose everything they have, need professional help. I have been to different casinos, but actually have not spend everything i had in my wallet that night, i try and win some and then quit. I can understand why people love playing different card games, throw dices or use slot machines. There is something powerful about the feeling of winning money. It must be hard running a casino with so many people desperate to win the biggest amount of money, and some might do anything to win, cheating included. One really good motion picture that captured this gambler world, was Martin Scorseses film Casino. Robert De Niro in the lead role as the casino owner is brilliant, trying to make sure business is going better for each day. One moment everything is going great, with lots of cash coming in, but it also include many problems. I have been thinking about going to Las Vegas, just to see how life really is in the gambling paradise. I realise that money will go quickly, so i should stick to a budget, to make sure i am not completely empty handed. Until then, ordinary casinos works just fine. Speaking of gambling, have anyone of you seen The Gambler from 1974, with James Caan in the lead role as egoistic gambler ? I have not seen it so far, even if i heard about it many years ago. Some people say it is one of the best performances of James Caan ever, just to hear that makes it more exciting to check it out. 30 years later, director Rupert Wyatt ( who directed Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes ), decided to do a remake of this classic film. This time we will see Mark Wahlberg in the lead role as the gambler instead, in an updated version of the 70´s classic film. Is this remake a surprisingly good version of the original film, or is this another remake that should not have been made at all ?

Jim Bennett is a literature professor, who tries to get his students thirsty for knowledge. What the students don´t know, is that he have a big problem. Jim is a gambling addict, and loan money from several loan sharks. In a total he owns Lee ( Alvin Ing ) a total of 260,000 dollars, including 50,000 dollars from Neville Baraka ( Michael K. Williams, both of them loan sharks. Jim is told he have to pay these money back in 7 days, or he will be killed. Meanwhile, Jim is working, educating students in his literature class. He have noticed that one of his students, Amy Philips ( Brie Larson ), is a potential writing prodigy. They begin to spend time together, without the school knowing. Jim is frustrated because one of his students, Lamar Allen ( Anthony Kelly ) is not paying attention in class. Lamar wants to beome an NBA player. To buy himself some extra time, Jim talks to another loan shark Frank ( John Goodman ) about a new loan. But he changes his mind, when Frank demands that he should not give him a loan. Jim comes up with another solution, asking his mother Roberta ( Jessica Lange ) to take out enough money, so he can pay his debts. Instead, he spend it all on a night out with Amy. Baraka locate Jim, and kidnap him to give him the last ultimatum, he have to convince Lamar to win one basketball match with 7 points or more, or they will kill Amy. Jim goes back to Frank, who finally agree to give him a loan of 260,000 dollars, so he can pay of his debts to Lee. Jim have another idea, but the question is, can he make his way out of this mess ?

It is nice to see Mark Wahlberg do a very different character for a change, from his latest films. Since i have not seen the original film i can not compare them, and maybe that can also be good. In this case i have to see that The Gambler is actually a good film, showing us how a gambler can destroy his own life, and affect others around him. There is a feeling all along that this is all he knows, gambling is everything he lives for. And somehow this makes it kind of sad story, that he choose this over anything else. He does work as a literature professor and try and do his job professional. When he gets involved with one of his students, seeing that she is the most hard working student, things take a different turn. Director Rupert Wyatt does a pretty good job to tell this story, about a man who is stuck in 2 different worlds. He have a passion about hiss class, but the money problems become larger for each day. What i like most about this film, is the fact that it shows you, no matter how intelligent you are, we can all do mistakes. When money rules your entire world, there are no limits to what can happen. You might think that people like this gambler, would learn his lesson. But when you are an addict, you won´t stop until it goes too far. Mark Wahlberg is cool in his character, he sounds confident and cocky, but somewhere he have lost his dignity. John Goodman is really funny, as a loud loan shark named Frank. This may not be as good as the oiginal film, as many claims, but i still find The Gambler have an important message to say. Once an addict, always an addict, unless you get help. Money can make people do cruel things, and there are no limits. A great performance from Mark Wahlberg, and i have to say Jessica Lange is really good here, nice to see a legendary actor back on top again. All bets in, this is a film you never know what the results will be at the finish line. And that makes The Gambler worth your time.

Rating: DDD

måndag 2 februari 2015

The Guest

I can´t imagine what soldiers get to experience on different missions. On each mission, you might have to do things that you probably don´t want to, but have to, including killing another person if necessary. Each year we read in newspapers about the military problems in Iraq, and many other countries. Soldiers who finally return to their home country, and try and adjust into ordinary life must be very difficult. One of the best motion pictures that brings that subject up is First Blood with Sylverster Stallone. There are plenty of films that take on the subject of military soldiers who returns home, but First Blood was actually unique for the portrait of an Vietnam veteran, coming home to Usa, without any home to go to. Sylvester Stallone did a really good performance as John Rambo, a man with no future, who carry a past within him that no one should have experienced. Maybe we should also mention Born On The Fourth Of July, with an excellent Tom Cruise as an Vietnam veteran, trying to be respected for his duty in war. With the new release of Clint Eastwood´s Oscar nominated film American Sniper in cinemas worldwide, it seems that films with military issues are very important. I recently got to take a look at The Guest, a film that bring up the subjects about the american military, both from a soldier perspective, and also from a family perspective. What cought my interest is that this film is directed by Adam Wingard, who directed 2 short films on V/H/S and V/H/S/2. I was curious to see him do something completely different, from his previous work. The Guest is a film that only had a limited theatre release, but critics seemed to be positive. Is this a suprisingly good film from director Adam Wingard, going into a completely different genre, or should he have stayed in the horror genre that he did so well instead ?

Laura Peterson ( Sheiley Kelly ) and her husband Spencer Peterson ( Leland Orser ) struggle with their ordinary day lives, since they lost their son Caleb, to the war in Afghanistan. One day, while Laura is home alone, a man named David Collins ( Dan Stevens ) visit their home. David is a former soldier, who says he was a friend of Caleb. Not sure what to think, Laura decide to invite him in. She can see on a Picture that he does tell the truth, seeing him and her son Caleb, together with their military team. Spencer is depressed over his son´s death, so he is very pleased to have David visit, and ask him to stay longer. Laura´s other 2 kids, Anna Peterson ( Maika Monroe ) and Luke Peterson ( Brendan Meyer ) are both curious why David is staying at their home. But it turns out he seems to make a change, especially for bully victim Luke. Anna is fascinated in David, but she is not sure who he really is. Some strange events begin to happen around town, while Anna try and contact the military unit that David claim he belongs to. Something seems wrong with David´s information, and the truth is about to be revealed.

It is nice to see that once in a while, a film shows up that looks different from most releases. The Guest is without a doubt different, in the sense that the plot is a mixture of different films. This combination makes The Guest interesting, stories with something to say does not come around very often. You can tell the budget is limited, but it does not affect the quality of the film. British actor Dan Stevens, who you might have seen from The Fifth Estate and A Walk Among The Tombstones, does a great performance. He is like a strange mix of Patrick Swayze in Road House, and Schwarzenegger in Terminator, but with his own combination. When the film starts, you really have no idea why his character David is visiting this family, except for his time in the army with their dead son/brother. I wont give away any details, just to make it more interesting to see The Guest. I really like the structure of this film by director Adam Wingard, he manage to bring in many different ideas, and put them all together without losing the string. You might have seen his horror film You´re Next, that turned out to be a surprisingly good horror film. The Guest is not a horror film, i would instead call this a thriller, with a very unique style. I love the soundtrack, the synthesizer tunes feels very 80´s style, and fit right into the style of the film. The biggest strength of this film is the plot, it is not very often i feel very interested in what is about to happen, and with The Guest you really have no idea what will happen. You begin to think of what could happen, and you still have no clue of why David turned up to see this family. I am so happy to see an intelligent film that is strong enough to deliver on such a high level. Everything is not perfect, there are a few flaws, but nothing that impact the quality of the film. The Guest is a big surprise to me, i had no expectations at all, maybe because i did not even watch a trailer. I suggest you check this out, you might actually find this film quite interesting.

Rating: DDD