onsdag 27 januari 2016

Bound To Vengeance

I dedicate this review to all women worldwide who take a stand, trying to fight for justice and equal rights.

In the last few months, i think we all have been shocked about all the news coverage of women attacked, especially on New Years Eve in Germany, and not long ago information about the Stockholm Summer Festival. As a man i found it very hard to understand, how you can even think of raping a woman, or abusing her. It has never crossed my mind, and it never will. Simply because i respect women, and many men should learn to see women in a different way. In the film world, we have plenty of examples of films, where women are raped, abused or tortured. One of the most classic examples is of course the 1978 film I Spit On Your Grave. A very controversial film for many reasons, but most of all for the brutal rape scenes. The film became banned in several countries, and feminist organisations were furious that the film even got a cinema release. I have seen the film, and i will say that it is brutal, and you will be disgusted. But i can honestly say that there are nowdays so many gory, brutal films out there, that this film is no longer the shocker it used to be. But as a cult film it still have some value. Of course Hollywood decided to do a remake, and we got one with the same title, released in 2010. For a remake, it is actually not that bad, and without a doubt good enough to watch on dvd, if you want to see some horror films. There are 2 sequels out also, and i have not seen them yet. Something tells me that i might not see them, usually sequels of this kind don´t give much joy. Does anyone remember the 70´s cult classic film Death Wish, with Charles Bronson, in one of his best action films ? The story about a father, who revenge the death of his wife, and his raped daughter, is a classic revenge film. I am hoping that the film one day get a special edition with interviews of film crew, perhaps some of the actors who were in the film. There are plenty of more classic films in this genre, perhaps we should mention The Last House On The Left by director Wes Craven ? Not long ago, while buying some new dvd and blu rays from Shout! Factory, i came across a film called Bound To Vengeance. Not knowing much about it, i decided to give it a try and bought myself a copy. I later found out that i could have bought the UK version, but who cares, any release is good enough for me. With a good looking premise, and an interesting cast, is Bound To Vengeance a revenge horror film in the style of the good old classics, or is this another release in this genre that will be forgotten ?

Eve ( Tina Ivlev ) is lying on the floor chained, by pervert and kidnapper Phil ( Richard Tyson ). As he goes in to feed her, she hits him with a brick, and manage to get herself loose. She finds pictures of different women, with a name written on every photograph. She decides to take Phil as her prisoner, to locate where he have chained all these women, to set everyone free. Phil tries to convince Eve not to go on with this, but Eve is determined to make things right. Question is, are all the women alive, or is her mission doomed to fail ?

There are plenty of strong female characters on films, but one of them have to be my personal favourite, and that is of course Sigourney Weaver as Ripley. Have you ever seen a more bad ass woman kicking alien ass ? You almost get a sense that your balls will explode, if she gives you the evil eye, so i am not going near her, that is for sure. I have seen a lot of brutal films in my years. Even if Bound To Vengeance is very brutal in many ways, i can tell you that this film need to be brutal. Why ? Simply because the story is in need of a strong female character. And this is where lead actor Tina Ivlev manage to deliver with her powerful performance. She might be a victim, but she manage to turn things around. Bound To Venegance is without a doubt a film that shows, women are stronger than men in many ways. In this case, where we are dealing with a sick perrvert, who is turned on by abusing young women, and torture them, you have to feel some kind of hope that everything will be alright, hopefully. In real life you have probably heard the news coverage of Josef Fritl, who chained and kidnapped prisoner Elisabeth in his home, for many many years, and no one knew. The fact that he got her pregnant many times, and was still living with his wife, is really sick. Now, Bound To Vengeance does not go this far, because this is a completely different story, but you do recognize the kidnapping theme, and the girls chained as slaves. To see one of the victims strike back, and not give up because of the situation, shows that you can never give up. There are plenty of violent scenes, so be prepared for a crazy ride. I like the fact that director José Manuel Cravioto use a very violent approach, i think it is needed in a revenge film like this. José have directed short films, and some documentaries in the past, but his full feature debut film El Más Buscado is said to be very good. After watching Bound To Blood, i can honestly say that i like his style, and vision as an director. He makes a simple story come to life, with a lot of power, especially in the performances. Is the story interesting ? Not really, but the film looks great, and the performances is the strength of the film. Is it original in any way ? No, but that does not really matter, because in the end we get a revenge horror film much better than most average releases. And there are also some surprises along the way, something i do appreciate. The pervert, played by actor Richard Tyson ( remember the evil guy in Kindergarten Cop ? ), is actually solid in his performance. A psycopath, you don´t want to bring into your aunts Sunday dinner. I suggest you buy this dvd, and show support to women worldwide who are victims of abuse, rape or violence. It is time we make a change in this world, and Bound To Vengeance might inspire women to stand up for themselves.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 26 januari 2016

A special thanks to Uwe Boll !!!!!!

Hi Uwe Boll !

I am very happy to see that you are still making films, because we need directors like you out there. You might be one of the few directors who knows what we need in the film industry, that is why i think we should talk about Rampage.

I love your Rampage films, and i own them both of course on dvd and blu ray. And i supported your campaigns for Rampage 3 on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Unfortunately, some people did not understand how important Rampage 3 is. So.....i would personally like to thank you for making Rampage 3, making sure we will have a great quality film. I will be one of the people who will buy this film as soon as the release date is out, because the Rampage films changed my life. And i will of course write a review on the film also here on my movie review blog.

So thank you Uwe Boll, for making quality films that the world need. Keep doing your passion for cinemas worldwide, you are one of the best at what you do.

Cheers from Daniel

Knight Of Cups

I am one of those people, who love actors who can take on all kinds of characters. Especially the ones who are insane, or really fascinating. We have plenty of actors out there who have proved themselves to be amazing at making characters in their own way, or portrait a person as real as they possibly could. There is one film that i can never get out of my mind, simply because it was both very unique, and the lead actor did an amazing performance. I am talking about American Psycho, and the lead actor Christian Bale. His performance as the insane serial killer Patrick Bateman, is absolutely splendid. It is one of the best serial killer films made, since it is much more detailed and well written, than most of the films in this genre. Director Mary Harron managed to capture the feeling of the novel American Psycho, by author Bret Easton Ellis. Speaking of Christian Bale, this is an actor who have proved himself many times. There are so many great films he have been a part of, and some of my personal favourites ( except for American Psycho ), is The Machinist, his Batman films and The Fighter. He is still really good in other films, but we don´t need to go through the whole list. No matter what genres, or stories that Christian Bale choose, he always seems to find a way to find interesting characters. I am looking forward to see him in the new film The Big Short, that just landed in swedish cinemas. Just look at the cast, apart from Bale, we have Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. I am going to go next week if everything goes as planned. Until then, i took the time to watch a new film with Christian Bale called Knight Of Cups. Now i noticed something interesting, that he is working with director Terrence Malick. Don´t recognize the name ? How about his films The Thin Red Line and The Tree Of Life ? He have directed other good films also, but i was curious to see Bale in a new film with Malik, the combination felt interesting. But that´s not all, the cast list is impressive with Cate Blanchet, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas, Brian Dennehy, Ryan O´Neil, and many more. So with such a great cast, and a great director, is Knight Of Cups another quality film from Terrence Malick, or is his glory days as an director outnumbered ?

Rick ( Christian Bale ) is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. He have a successfull career, but he feels empty inside. To fill out these empty holes, he meets new women, and attend different parties. Even since his brother died, his life changed him completely, and he lost hope. Now, he is trying to get answers to many questions, and to understand what his purpose is in this world.

There is no doubt that Knight Of Cups looks different than the average film release. There are plenty of long dialogue scenes, where we take off to all kinds of places, and corners. The problem is that i can not feel very interested in the plot, or the characters. We move around with so many different locations, and mind talking, that you try to understand where this is going. I like strange films, or odd films, and Knight Of Cups is without a doubt an odd film. But if you don´t have a solid structure, to keep the film interesting, you have a big problem. The main character Rick, played by Christian Bale, is a very basic, non exciting character. All he does is move around in different locations, meet different people, and just look sad most of the time. Remember the great cast list i mentioned before? You might think that with such a great cast list, you make a film better. In this case, it does not help the film very much. Director Terrence Malik have directed good films in the past, and you can tell that he could have made Knight Of Cups interesting, if he made some major changes. Instead, he leaves us with a very experimental film, that goes in all directions. I really tried to sit through 2 hours of this film, focusing on the plot, and the characters. But i still feel disappointed, because with such a cast, and such a talented director, we should have had more than this. There are a few beautiful scenes, that looks really good. And there are a few dialogue scenes that works, but apart from this i do not find much else to be happy about. I think most of you remember how good The This Red Line is, but if you watch Knight Of Cups you will guaranteed be disappointed. I am sorry Terrence Mallick, i can see you were trying to do something different with this film. In the end, i feel that Knight Of Cups is a long journey without a solid destination. Such a shame, i was looking forward to see this film. Not a horrible film, just simply very boring and not focused on a solid plot.

Rating: DD

måndag 18 januari 2016


Kids, let me give you a lesson, that might be one of the most important lessons of your life.

There is a rule in the horror society, that you have to see An American Werewolf In London. Why do you have to see this film ? Because you have to, simple as that. It is just as classic as Zlatan, even one of the most beloved horror comedies of all time. Director John Landis made a film that was both very brutal, but really well made, and special effects like we have never seen before during this time of the 80´s. The Howling is also of course a cult film, that lives on still today. Werewolves have made a big impact in the horror world, and we do have some really good films to prove that. Of course, we also have some bad examples, avoid the sequels to The Howling, especially Howling 3, what were they thinking ? There are so many different versions of werevolves, but to be honest, i prefer the classic ones, who only go out at night, and dies out of silver bullets. Lately, we have been seeing some werewolf films coming out, and there are actually 2 that i still recommend. Late Phases and Blood Moon, 2 films that both have a nice touch on this genre, in very different styles. I suggest you watch them both. We have to mention the british action horror Dog Soldiers, one of the best werewolf films from the early millenium. In fact, this film is nowdays seen a bit of a cult film, and that makes me pleased. Nice to see that people appreciate great B movies. I think that werewolves is one of the most classic monsters of cinema moments, starting as early as in 1935 with the motion picture Werewolf Of London, and classics like The Wolf Man, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man and The Curse Of The Werewolf. These films may be old, but make a very important impact on film history. To see these iconic creatures still be with us today in new films, means a lot. So i try to keep my eyes open for new upcoming films, in the werewolf genre. One of he films i was hearing positive reactions on, was the british independent horror film Howl. I really did not know much about it, except that we would have werewolves, or a werewolf in this film. Since i usually enjoy british horror films more than american horror, i just had to check this one out. Is the film Howl a nice treat for werewolf fans, or have we seen it all before, and much better than this ?

Joe ( Ed Speelers ), a train ticket seller, is forced to work an extra shift. But at least he won´t be alone. His work collegue Ellen ( Holly Weston ) needs the extra money. As the train take off, everything seems to be a normal night shift. Later that night, the train suddenly stops, right outside in he countryside. The train conductor goes out to check what happened, and just simply dissapear. The people on board the train want answers, but Joe have no idea what is going on. He inform the travelers that he needs to make sure everyone is safe, but no one want to listen to Joe. As the night goes on, more strange events take place, and it seems that the nightmare have just begun.

Once again, Great Britain delivers.

There is no doubt that Howl is the perfect film for a sunday family meal, next to the sunday steak. You have the classic concept of werewolves, thrown into a train, and some nice gore special effects included.  But that´s not all, Howl is actually almost a different version of the classic horror film Horror Express, with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. There are of course many differences, but you can recognize the influences. You can also see influences from other classic films, but i will let you see for yourselves, if you notice what i mean. If you are hoping for a lot of jump scares, and the typical found footage genre, this is not what you could ask for. Howl is more of a traditional horror film, and there are plenty of characters here, stuck around this train  Lead actor Ed Speelers might be remembered most, for the movie adaptation of Eragon. As you might remember, the movie flopped at the box office, and there were no sequels made. He also did a role in the action drama A Lonely Place To Die, a much better film than Eragon. In Howl, he does pretty good. Not a unique actor in any way, but he manage to deliver his character performance. One of the actors i would like to talk about, is actually Shauna Macdonald, who you might remember from the Descent films. She is without a doubt the best actor in Howl, and her performance will guaranteed please you. The plot may be simple, and the budget is limited, but Howl manage to make this classic concept work. I suppose you could say that it is mostly thanks to the acting, and we also are lucky to have some nice practical effects. The werewolf costume does not look bad at all, so there we have something more to be pleased about. Director Paul Hyett is mostly known for his special effect design work, and he have worked on many films, like Mr. Nice, Centurion, Red Riding 1974, Red Riding 1980, Red Riding 1983, and many more. His directorial debut film The Seasoning House was actually surprisingly good. It may not have screened in many countries, but it is a film worth seeing. Howl is more of a traditional werewolf film, that use many classic elements. But i still enjoy myself, simply because this is fun tribute to classics. I would have liked some unexpected turns, or something different to suddenly twist the plot around. But i can´t complain, Howl delivers, and i know that horror fans will be pleased. One thing is clear though, next time i am going by train, i am bringing silver bullets and a silver cross, those werewolves always want to party.

Rating: DDD

Life Itself , a documentary that gives film critics inspiration.

Hi everyone!

Daniel here again , but this is not an ordinary review. In fact, i wanted to recommend a documentary film called Life Itself , that i watched on Netflix. It is the story about Chicagos legendary film critic Roger Ebert and how he became one of the most loved film critics of all time. 

For me personally, this documentary film gave me hope. Since i have been writing movie reviews for many years, its nice to see a true artist in work , before he left us. 

I can still remember when i started writing movie reviews on paper, without any computer, just a pencil and paper. My mother read my work and said :- Promise me that you will write more reviews. And i did hold that promise, and i will never stop. After all, i write the best movie review blog of Sweden.

So please check out Life Itself on Netflix. Movie critics is very important that will live on, and Roger Ebert inspired many of us.

Cheers from Daniel  

fredag 15 januari 2016

Mississippi Grind

I am not a good gambler. The few times i play poker, i always end up losing. So, there is no chance you will see me win big time at any Casino. I rather bet on football or hockey instead, at least i get some profit there, eventually. Playing to win money is hard, you need to know the system, and know that you bet smart. I did win 50 euros once on a slot machine, but i consider that to be luck only. Gambling can be fun, if you know how to control yourself. But if you have problems with money, gambling can destroy you. It is like an addiction, just like being an addict to alcohol or drugs. Everyday, you have people loosing everything they own, because of gambling addiction. This is a really big problem worldwide, and it will never stop. So how can we stop people from destroying their lives ? It is a hard question. Because adults can play whatever they want, and you can´t really stop them, unless you have a good reason for not letting them in. When it comes to films, based on gambling, we have plenty of choices to choose between. Instead of writing some examples, let us talk about Mark Wahlberg´s film The Gambler. This was a remake of the 1974 film, of the same name. I actually enjoyed this remake, simply because i felt that the portrait of this gambler, felt belivable. Mark Wahlberg did one of his better performances in this film, for quite some time. Unfortunately the film was never seen by a big audience, but i suggest you rent it. Hopefully it will be on Netflix, so more people might notice the film. I usually don´t look out for gambling films, simply because we don´t see these types of films come out very often. But when i read about Mississippi Grind, i had a feeling that this could be interesting. With Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds in the lead roles, i felt some hope for this film. Considering that The Gambler managed to deliver an important message on gambling addiction, is this finally a worthy film in this genre ? Or is this a film that completely misses the mark on addiction ?

Gambler Gerry ( Ben Mendelsohn ) is not having a good day. He have no money to pay for his loaned money, all lost in poker games and gambling in sports. In fact, he needs to get money as soon as possible, or he is going to be a dead man. One night, he meet Curtis ( Ryan Reynolds ), who is also a gambler. Curtis have noticed that Gerry knows how to play poker, so they decide to go on a road trip. They will travel to play different poker events, and casinos, to try and make lots of money. Everything seems to start off well, but since they don´t really know each other very well, is this trip going to be what they expected, or are they doomed to fail ?

I love it when you don´t expect much, and find out that the film you have just seen, is much better than you expected. Mississippi Grind is the best gambling drama film i have seen for many years. This is a really well made story, about 2 people, who have very different backgrounds, but decide to take chances. Their highway journey, to play poker tournaments and casino´s, is filled with fantastic acting, and some unexpected surprises. Lead actors Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds are so damn good as their characters, you simply love every dialogue scene with them. You might think that Mississippi Grind is all about gambling addiction, it is not. This is also a story about not being afraid, to take chances, even if you might loose everything you own. Ben Mendelsohn, who i know mostly from the Netflix series Bloodline, and of course in the masterpiece The Place Beyond The Pines. He really know how to make his characters feel honestly portrayed, and to show how an gambling addict can behave in different situation. Ryan Reynolds actually does one of his best acting performances so far, as the kind , and confident gambler, who at least know his limits. Mississippi Grind is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, mostly known as the writers of the Ryan Gosling film Half Nelson. They also directed the comedy-drama It´s Kind Of A Funny Story. It would not be fare to compare to their previous work, but i can tell you that Mississippi Grind is their best film so far. They manage to show us so many different situations, how one gambling addicts life can be like. You also get a sense that they are trying to let us look at these 2 individuals from different angles. In some moments, they are having a great time, but as the addiction kicks in, problems become more obvious. If you are not interesting in gambling, or in drama films based on addiction problems, i doubt that this is something you would be interested to see. However, if you love really good acting performances, and a really good plot included, my best advice is to see Mississippi Grind. This is one of those films you can watch again, and not get tired of it, simply because it is that good. By the way, the blues songs in this film fit perfect into the inviroment. Maybe i should sit down at a poker table just for fun ? If i loose, i will at least have whisky to please me. Rounds up people!

Rating: DDDD


I can honestly say, it takes time for me to sit down and read a book. I usually only read real newspapers, instead of reading them online. But the books i do read have been pretty good, and sometimes you come across something that just felt boring. I used to read novels in my younger years, mostly because my grandfather Ingvar used to give me books for birthday gifts, so i still have a collection. One of the books i have read lately, is a book based on a true story, of a former member of the cult FLDS. The book title is Stolen Innocence by author Elissa Wall. This is a shocking story, how evil their leader Warren Jeffs was, and how he sexually molested many young girls, and abused many members. I bought this book from America, so i do not know if it is published in Europe yet, but i suggest you buy this book, because it is very good. Speaking about books, there are so many great books made into movie adaptation. Have anyone of you read the novel About A Boy from 1998 ? I did read this book, and i also watched the film, based on the book, that came out in 2002. Now, i know it is hard making a film based on a novel, but i feel that directors Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz, managed to capture the feeling of the novel, in a positive way. It is actually the only film i enjoy with Hugh Grant. Do i hate him ? No, but i feel that almost every film he did looked pretty much the same, so About A Boy was definitely different, in a positive way. If you thought he was good in Notting Hill, i suggest you see About A Boy instead. The author of About A Boy, named Nick Hornby, have written 7 novels so far. But that is not all. He was also the screenplay writer of the film Wild, with Reese Witherspoon. Wild is actually one of the best Reese Witherspoon have made so far in her career, so i suggest you see it. Speaking of screenplay, as i was about to watch a film called Brooklyn, i found out that Nick Hornby have also written the screenplay for this film. That got me curious, since i enjoyed Wild. After hearing so much praise about Brooklyn, both from film critics, and audiences, i just had to see if this would be as good as people said. Do we have a surprisingly good film here set back in the 50´s, or is the hype around this film way too big to be true ?

In the year of 1952, Ellis Lacey ( Saoirse Ronan ), is a young woman, living in the irish town Enniscorthy. She is working weekends in a shop, run by the spiteful Miss Kelly ( Brid Brennan ). Elli´s older sister Rose ( Fiona Glascott ) have arranged that Ellis can travel to America, to make herself a good future. The trip does not start well, as she is seasick, including food poisoned. But she manage to get herself together, as she is getting closer to her destination. In New York, Brooklyn, she is set to live in a Irish boarding house, with other young women. Since she is shy, and new, she tries to adjust herself to be appreciated. Ellis manage to get a job at an department store, where she is told to be more social with her customers, by her supervisor Miss Fortini ( Jessica Paré ). Ellis realise that she must try and change her ways, to be more effective with customers. Father Flood ( Jim Broadbent ) visits Ellis, who helped her to get a job. Father Flood is trying to help Ellis get into bookkeeping classes. One night, while going out to dance, Ellis meet Tony ( Emory Cohen ). She is having a great time, and Tony tell her that he is from an italian family. Everything is looking good, where Ellis both manage to have a job, and a new boyfriend. But suddenly tragic news arrive from Ireland. Ellis sister Rose have died from undisclosed illness. Ellis have to return back home, but before she does, she and Tony decides to get married in secret. As Ellis return to her hometown Enniscorthy, she soon understand that no one want her to go back to New York. Her best friend is getting married in a week, so Ellis can not return to New York as she have planned. Also, since her sister died, someone is needed to take her place, and Ellis is asked to be the bookkepper. This is not the way Ellis planned things to go, she wants to go back to New York. But the question is, can she go back and leave everyone behind, since she is needed ?

I am very pleased to say, that i am beginning this new year, with a film that deliver really great acting on a level like Brooklyn delivers. In fact, there are not many films i have seen lately, where the main actor simply blows you away with the acting performance. And this is why i am so happy to say, that Saoirse Ronan is magnificent as the young woman Ellis Lacey. To be honest i am a bit shocked still, because i remember her performance in The Host, and this is on a completely different level of acting. And i am very pleased that she have worked really hard on this film, because you can tell that it must have been a big challenge. Now, to enjoy a film like Brooklyn, you need to understand that this is not an ordinary release. This is a very intelligent film, that tries to capture the time period of the 50´s, in a very well made way. We know that a lot of people moved from Europe, to start a new life in America, and this is a part of the story behind Brooklyn, about taking chances. Ellis irish accent, and her personality, is someone you have to love, from the first moment you meet her back in Ireland. The story, about this young girl, starting a new life in America, is both funny, heart warming and there are of course some sadness to go along. The biggest strength of Brooklyn is without a doubt the acting. There are many really good performances, especially from Julia Waters , Brid Bennan, Jim Boradbent, and many others. I will say that this film feels much stronger, thanks to the wonderful characters, and there are plenty of them. But the most unique character is of course Ellis, and i am so happy that Saoirse Ronan gave us this wonderful performance. Director John Crowley have directed several films, but one of them is actually on my list of favourite films. Have you heard of the film Boy A ? If you have not seen it, you must buy it. It is a very sad and emotional look at a young mans life, who lives hidden, because he and a friend killed a child in their childhood. The best performance i have ever seen Andrew Garfield do as an actor. Now, his latest film Brooklyn is also emotional, but on a much more simple level than Boy A. I would say that director John Crowley once again proves that he knows how to make interesting stories. The costume design is wonderful also, you will notice that. This is a film about growing up, taking chances in life, and take on challenges, even how hard the sitiation is. I just read that Brooklyn is nominated for 3 Academy Awards this year, i wish everyone who worked on this film good luck. I would not be surprised if Brooklyn win at least one award.

Rating: DDDD

söndag 10 januari 2016


There are plenty of hip hop artists who both became actors, or ended up in movie soundtracks, during the early 90´s. I would guess that many of you have seen the classics Boyz N The Hood, and Menace 2 Society. There are plenty of films we could discuss, where hip hop artists got their chance to make their way into Hollywood, but let´s talk about one man who did made an impact. Will Smith, one part of the famous duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, became a world famous personality through his music. They sold out concerts, and were very popular on charts worldwide, especially in America. Since Will Smith´s popularity grew, he got his own comedy show called The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. The show was very popular, and everyone was enjoying this young comedian for his own style, and his way to make ordinary day situations very funny. Will finally got to be in his first feature film called Made In America, starring Whoppi Goldberg and Ted Danson. The film was no success, but Will kept on working until he finally got his big chance of a lead role. In 1995, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence made one of the big box office hits with Bad Boys, an action comedy by director Michael Bay, became a smash hit worldwide. Will Smith continued to bring box office hits with Independence Day, Men In Black and many others. I personally feel that Will Smith have become a better actor within the last 12 years, when he choose a different type of genre. One good example of that, was his film The Pursuit Of Happyness, based on the true story of American entrepreneur Chris Gardner, who became a homeless man with his son, but managed to find a way out through the hard times. This film was also a big box office hit like many of Will Smith films, but actually one of his better releases. I suggest you rent if, if you have not seen it. Just a year later, i think most of you have seen I Am Legend, where Will Smith did an interesting portrait of a man who lost everything, and is one of the only survivors from a genetically re-engineered measles virus. I know that some critics were negative, because we have seen this type of film before, but i personally feel that I Am Legend had a different view on this genre. The only negative i have to say about this film is the special effects on the " Darkseekers " Now, i will be honest and say that after i watched After Earth, i was worried that Will Smith would not deliver in a long time. I have either seen Winter´s Tale or Focus, for no particular reason at all. I might get the time to see both of them at some point, but i became curious in his new film Concussion. Mostly because it is based on the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered what was wrong with NFL players, after several of them killed themselves, and NFL would not take the responsibility. Is this finally a film where we see Will Smith back on his solid acting level, or is this one of his releases that no one will notice ?

In the year 2002, former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster ( David Morse ) is found dead in his pick up truck. Before his death, he visited Dr. Julian Bailes ( Alec Baldwin ), telling him that something is wrong with him. Unfortunately, no one knew what was wrong with him. The body of Mike is sent to Dr. Bennet Omalu ( Will Smith ), a forensic pathologist, who examine Mike´s body. He notice something while looking at his brain. Dr. Bennet is determined that Mike had an severe brain damage, most likely caused by all the head injuries while playing american football. Bennet knows what caused Mike´s death, it is because of long-term effects of repeated blows to the head, a disorder he calls chronic traumatic encephalopathy ( CET ). Bennet meet Julian, neurologist Steven T. DeKosky ( Eddie Marsan ), and county coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht ( Albert Brooks ). They all agree that Dr. Bennet is correct, and he publish his finidings on paper, something that NFL dismisses. When more football players, are found taking their own lives, and seem to have had the same disorder as Mike, Dr Bennet realise that the truth must come out. NFL will not let their reputation be destroyed by a doctor, so they will do anything to make Bennet look like a fool. But if the truth comes out, can NFL hide the facts of what really happened ?

For those who know me personally, know that i do not watch all kinds of sport. In fact, the only sport i watch on some occations are hockey, football and boxing. I don´t know if German Housewives are included in this genre, but let me tell you, those german moms bring on the action. Concussion is both sport drama, and a medical drama, based on a true story that happened back in 2009. You may have read earlier what the film is about, so i don´t need to go into details. Since i have not followed the events around this true story, when it happened, i can only assume that this film tries to tell one version of what happened. When i sat down to watch Concussion, i had barely read anything about the film, because not many newspapers in Sweden have written anything about it. And in some ways, i am glad that i had no idea what to expect. This is a really well made film, and most of all, Concussion is a film that delivers acting on a high level. Just the first minutes with David Morse as Mike Webster, as he shows how bad he is in health condition, is absolutely splendid. Alec Baldwin is also really good as Dr. Julian Bailes, he feels very natural in his character. Most of all we have Will Smith in the lead role, as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered why the NFL players were going insane. He takes his role seriously, and deliver one of his best performances in a long time. Knowing that this scandal actually happened, and people lost their lives, as NFL refused to listen to Dr. Bennet, feels horrible. If these men were heard, and could have been helped, things might have looked different today. The strength of Concussion is the characters, while the plot is builded around them. I know that some critics felt that the plot should have been stronger in this film, but for mer personally, i want strong characters more than a strong plot. If you don´t have strong characters, the plot will not matter eventually. And in a film like Concussion, based on the discovery of Dr. Bennet Omalu, director Peter Landesman manage to bring his view on this case of NFL. I would say that this is the best film that director Peter Landesman have directed so far, his first directorial debut film was Parkland in 2013. From a medical perspective, i personally feel that this is where Concussion delivers very powerful, because when you work in health care, you know that the patients always deserve respect. What a great beginning of this year, Concussion is both very well made, and include really good acting. I suggest you run down to the cinema, there are many important issues here to be told.

Rating: DDDD

lördag 9 januari 2016

Bridge Of Spies

I love cinema magic, and as long as i can remember from my childhood, i loved to see movies, that made me feel happy. And if there was one director who knew how to deliver magic, you could count on Steven Spielberg. Just think about all the classics he have given us, Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, E.T, Indiana Jones, Hook, Jurassic Park, the list is long. Of course he also have given us more serious films, such as Schindler´s List, that is in my opinion one of the most important film of the 90´s. Even until today, many film critics still talk about Schindler´s List as one of the films, everyone should see. And there is a reason for that. What happened during World War 2, when Oskar Schindler, saved more than thousands of Polish-Jewish refugees. One film that i know not many people have seen, that seems to have become forgotten, is Amistad. It may not be one of Spielberg´s greatest films, but the historical value of this film, taking place in the slavery times of 1840, is still important. If you have not seen it, i suggest you do, especially because of the great cast that includes a lot of known faces. As the millenium kicked in, Spielberg decided to go in a complete different direction, giving us 2 really good sci fi action films, Minority Report and War Of The Worlds, both starring Tom Cruise. If you love science fiction and action combined, these two films is something you have to see. Spielberg kept on working on different film projects, and i know he is directing more films, ready to be released in 2017. Tom Hanks, we all know know him from the 80´s classics ? Of course, who have not seen Big, Turner & Hooch, The Burbs, and many other classics. I personally feel that Tom became a complete different actor when he gave a splendid performance in the very emotional film Philadelphia, from 1993. The story about a lawyer, who is fired from a law firm, because he is a homosexual and have HIV, is actually based on a true case. Clarance B. Cain sued Hyatt Legal Services for AIDS discrimination, and he won before he died. This film is still today very important, because i have always supported my lesbian sister, and everyone around her who are homosexual. If you have not seen Philadelphia yet, you have to rent it. It is a very important issue. Tom Hanks continued to deliver solid performances with Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, Cast Away, and let us not forget Road To Perdition ( one of my personal favourite films with Tom Hanks ). Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks have worked together on several films, and here we have a new film called Bridge Of Spies, their latest collaboration. I always enjoy seeing them work on something together, simply because they are both very professional in the film industry. So, when i finally got a chance to see their latest work, i ran off to the local cinema, hoping i would be pleased. Is this latest film from Spielberg still magical, as many other of his films, or is the magic lost on the way ?

In the year of 1957, New York City, a man named Rudolf Abel ( Mark Rylance ) retrieves a secret message from a park bench. He reads it, before the FBI burst into his rented room. He prevents the message from being seen, but is arrested because of other evidence found in his room. He is arrested for suspicion of beeing a Sovjet spy. James B. Donovan ( Tom Hanks ), a respected lawyer, is asked to take on Abel´s defense. The United States belive that Abel is a KGB spy, but want him to have a fair trial to reduce Sovjet Union´s opportunity to use it for propaganda. James visit Abel in prison, where the Sovjet agree to accept his help. Abel refuse to cooperate with the US government, or to give any revelations of the intelligence world. James know that the odds of him getting Abel free is most likely not possible, but he intends to do the best he can. But the american people do not appreciate that James is the lawyer of Abel, as he recive death threats, as well as hate mail. James is not giving up on his client, even how hard the situation is. As the day comes, where Abel will find out in court his verdict, he is found guilty on all charges, but James convince the judge to sentence Abel to 30 years of imprisonment. Information comes out, that pilot Francis Gary Powers ( Austin Stowell ) have been shot down over the Sovjet Union, and is taken as an prisoner. Since the americans have Abel in prison, there is talk about making an exchange, that they will have Abel, if they release Francis. But the question is, will they agree on this, or will Francis be kept as an prisoner ?

There is no doubt that Bridge Of Spies tell us a very important story, that happened during the 1960 U-2 incident. Since we have seen Steven Spielberg take on historical events before in his career, we know that he knows how to make stories come to life. The cast is really good, especially Tom Hanks in the lead role. His presence as James B. Donovan feels correct, and he have no problem in making his interpretation of this american legend. One of the things i feel that Steven Spielberg is good at, is capturing the look of the 60´s. The costume design looks good, and the cinematographyby Janusz Kaminski looks great. He have worked with Spielberg before on cinematography on both Schindler´s List and Saving Private Ryan, so he is the right choice for a film like this. When it comes to the story itself, you have a lot of details here, both about all the important personalities that were involved, but also what happened during this period. The length of this film is over 2 hours and 20 minutes, and that is one of the problems i have with Bridge Of Spies. It feels much longer, because there is a lot of dialogue, where you need to be focused to understand the history behind the 1960 U-2 incident. The acting is great, so i have no issues with the performances, it is the length of the film that becomes an issue. I have seen films that are 3 hours long that feels both interesting all along, and you never get tired. Bridge Of Spies is an interesting film, from an historical perspective, but it feels slow. Thankfully, Tom Hanks is very professional, and manage to keep us focused, especially when he becomes very serious. Over the last 20 years, i feel that he is still delivering quality performances, on a complete different level since the 80´s. So there is no doubt that it was a good choice to cast him as James B. Donovan. Would i have liked to see a more personal view on James as an person ? Yes, but you also get a sence of who he was, and how his view were at this time of his life. Steven Spielberg knows how to tell stories, and he still proves that with Bridge Of Spies. This is a well made film, with a very important story to be told. If you enjoy films based on true historical events, i recommend you watch Bridge Of Spies. Especially a younger generation, that may not know much about history. The future is important, but what happened in the past must be remembered. I suggest you head down to a library and read some history books, knowledge is the key to many opportunities in life.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 5 januari 2016

The 33

The world is changing, and you can tell by many different signs. We are using energy sources, dropping out pollution, killing species that can not survive into the future. And it seems that people are waking up now, realising that we can not go on like this. Let´s go back in history, into a different time, when people tried to find energy sources. Here we should take a look at the coal mine industry. This used to be one of the most important energy sources, going all the way back into the 1800´s. With everything from trains, trucks, draglines, coal became a very important source in the machine world, in many different areas. Coal mines gave many people jobs, and helped many families to survive in hard econimical times. If we look at the coal mine industry today, you can see times have changed. Coal mines are closed, and the coal industry is not as big as it used to be. But there are countries that still use coal mines, and i think one of the countries we will never forget is Chile, especially in the year of 2010. A coal mine in the Atacama Desert, in northern Chile, trapped 33 miners underneath the surface at 2300 feet underground ( 700 metres ). This became one of the biggest news topics worldwide, if these miners was dead, or if they had a chance to live, considering how hard it would be to get them out. Luckily, all 33 people survived, and some of them was injured, but not in a lethal way. Since the story came out, miners have been interviewed how they managed to survive, including documentaries on TV. So i am not surprised that we now have an american film, based on the events of the coal mine disaster in 2010. I have heard that they were going to make a film adaptation of this story, but did not know what to expect. The 33 did screen in selected countries, but not in many theatres. The reason for that ? I have no idea, but i am always curious to see new releases. Is this film, based on the true events in Chile, suprisingly emotional, or is it a typical Hollywood cliché film with nothing to offer ?

A group of miners, Mario Sepúlveda ( Antonio Banderas ), Luis Urzúa ( Lou Diamond Phillips ), Álex Vega ( Mario Casas ), Dario Segovia ( Juan Pablo Rava ), among many others, head down the San José mine, to work 2300 feet underground. Before they all go down, Luis warn the owner that the stability of the mine is not good, and he want to make sure that the miners will be safe. But the owner does not listen, and suggest that there is no danger. After working down there for a while, the mine begin to collapse. The only way out is blocked and all miners are trapped underneath the earth. Minister Laurence Golborne ( Rodrigo Santoro ), heads out towards the San José mine, to see how bad the situation is. He inform the families that they might not be able to help the men. The families does not give up, and demand that the government do something. Maria Segovia ( Juliette Binoche ), sister of Dario who is trapped underneath the mine, is making sure that every single family is heard. President Sebastián Pinera ( Bob Gunton ), president of Chile, knows that they are forced to try and get the miners out. So they decide to send in André Sougarret ( Gabriel Byrne ) to manage the operation of drilling the men out. But the question is, is it impossible to make this work, or could the rest of the mine collapse ?

While watching The 33, you already know what happened down in the coal mine, so you are not expecting any suprises to show up. But that´s ok, because this is supposed to show us one side of the story, how these men managed to survive, being trapped down there for 69 days. It is hard to understand how it would feel, to not being able to go anywhere, and you are helpless in this situation. One of the things i found is interesting with this film adaptation, based on the true events of this mining disaster, is the casting list. We have Antonio Banderas, James Brolin, Gabriel Byrne, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips, Oscar Nunez and many others. So you might think that with such a big cast, that we have a very emotional, dramatic performance in our hands. We do have good performances, and that is what makes this film work. Since we already know the story of what happened, you need the actors to deliver their characters, to make us want to sit down for over 2 hours. One of the best performances here is actually from Antonio Banderas. I can´t say i have enjoyed many of his films in recent years, but i know he can act if he get the right character. So choosing Antonio as Mario Sepúlveda was the right choice.Also, i have to say Lou Diamond Phillips does his best performance in many years. Now, let´s talk about the film itself. Don´t expect a lot of action, because this is supposed to be a film based on how these miners survived. But i am ok with all the dialogue scenes, at least most of them. You need to create a certain feeling of what it could be like to be trapped underneath the earth, and how you deal with it, and the cast does manage to give us that feeling. Another interesting view is the political view on this event, did the politicans make the right decisions ? Director Patricia Riggen have directed 2 feature films in the past, and i have not seen none of them. But i think she manage quite well with The 33, to capture the feeling of the coal mining disaster. It is sentimental at times, but at the same time, what would you expect with a film like this ? Could it have been more raw, and given us a different portrait of the men ? Perhaps, but i still see The 33 as an good example of how important it is to have family, and not loose hope, even how dark it may seem. I would not say that The 33 is a movie that needs to be seen, because of the story. But, if you are interested in what happened, then i would say that you might find this interesting. One thing is for sure, i would never go down in a coal mine, unless Nicolas Cage is with me, because i know he can get us out, in all situations. I think Left Behind proved that.

Rating: DDD

fredag 1 januari 2016

Greetings everyone into 2016

Hi everyone , this is your favourite swedish film critic Daniel , hoping you had a fun New Years party !!!!!!

I hope it included lots of Ron De Jeremy Rum , that is something every New Years Eve party should include, and a lap dance of course. So now we have a new year ahead of us, with lots of new films coming our way. There are plenty of interesting films coming in 2016 , and i plan to review all kinds of genres .

So this weekend i am beginning to write the first reviews of this new year. 

Are you ready people? I know i am 😉

Cheers from Daniel