torsdag 30 november 2017

Event Horizon ( 20 Years Anniversary )

Let´s go back again 20 years in time to the year of 1997. For me personally, it was a shitty year, for personal reasons. But when it came to music and films, 1997 delivered both some really good albums, and some really good films. In fact, 1997 had some surprises, such as Gary Moore´s studio album Dark Days In Paradise. One of the best albums of his career, with everything from hard rock, blues, soul and beautiful pop songs. Stereophonics debut album Word Gets Around, turned out to be one of the best British rock pop albums of the year. This was also the year when Michael Hutchence released his last album with INXS, called Elegantly Wasted. Not their best work, but i think the album have grown over the years, to be much more appreciated now. This specific year had some really good films coming out. Just think about Con Air, L.A. Confidential, Jackie Brown, Donnie Brasco, Devil´s Advocate, and many more titles. When you have a year with titles like these ones, you know you can´t go wrong. Of course there were some really bad ones released in 1997 as well, but i have to say that from a movie perspective, 1997 was a special year. It was this year when director Paul W.S. Anderson released a science fiction film, that was a box office bomb at the time, but became a cult film in the future. I am of course talking about Event Horizon. A film that might not have been notized a lot when the film came out, but when the film went on VHS, it was clear that people started to appreciate this film. On dvd, it also found a new audience, and director Paul W.S. Anderson´s work on the film was now seen in a completely way. I remember seeing the film on dvd many years ago, since i never saw the film in cinemas. I might have seen it around the year 2002, so it is a long time ago. So, i decided to look at the film again, on a blu ray release, to see if i would appreciate the film, so many years between my last encounter with Event Horizon. The blu ray release also includes some really nice special features, so of course this got me curious as well. After 20 years, is Event Horizon a science fiction classic that a new generation should see, or would it be best if we all forget about this one and go for bigger classics ?

in 2047, a distress signal is received from the Event Horizon, a starship that disappeared during its maiden voyage to Proxima Centauri, 7 years ago. A rescue vessel named Lewis and Clark, with the team of Captain Miller ( Laurence Fishburne ), Dr. William Weir ( Sam Neil ), D.J. ( Jason Isaacs ), Smith ( Sean Pertwee ), Lieutenant Starck ( Joely Richardson ), and more passengers. is dispatched to go to Event Horizon and investigate the starship, to see if there are any survivors. As they enter the Starship, they discover that a massacre seems to have been taken place on board Event Horizon. With no clues of what happened, they are about to discover some secrets, that no one is ready for.

One thing that strikes me with Event Horizon, is that i can´t think of many films released at this time, that had the same style as this film. Sure, you can recognize certain details from other classic science fiction films, but at the same time this film seemed to have a style of it´s own. I have to say that i really appreciate the effort that director Paul W.S. Anderson have done, to make this film. The film does look a bit cheesy now 20 years later, in certain scenes. But i like the technical perspective of the space ship, the make up effects that look very different from other science fiction films around this time. The gory atmosphere is exactly what a film like this needs, and this is something you will find here in certain scenes. I also feel that lead actor Sam Neil is a good choice, as Dr. William Weir. His acting ability to do so many different characters, gives him a chance to do something different, than his pretty standard choice of genre films. Actor Laurence Fishburne is of course another great actor for a film like this. His character Captain Miller is the pretty standard boss type, who at least seems to care about the crew. The action scenes mixed with horror influences does work, except for a few details. I do think that it was a good choice, to go for a horror concept, considering the story is set on an abandoned Starship that seems to carry some secrets. Event Horizon may never be one of the great classics of the 90´s, but i feel that this is a film that still manage to deliver. The mixture of two different genres, with a good cast included, and a vision from a director who was on his way in Hollywood, shows that Event Horizon was a project that should have been seen by a larger audience. If you love films such as the Alien franchise, you might enjoy Event Horizon for trying something different within sci fi horror. Even if the CGI may not be top quality, and some of the dialogue may not be very good, i still see this film as a bit of a cult classic. Not one of the best films of director Paul W.S. Anderson, but considering he did this film after Mortal Kombat, you can tell he really wanted to do something much more complicated. Event Horizon may be 20 years old, but that does not affect the entertainment value of the film. I suggest you get the blu ray, and experience the film in the right way, with great picture and great sound. 

Rating: DDD

måndag 27 november 2017


Hollywood is full of actors, who have the ability to choose very different genre films. Some actors are actually really good at choosing their characters, just look at Jake Gyllenhaal. He really knows how to try different ways, to make the character powerful. I personally think he have proved this, in such films as Enemy and of course in Nightcrawler. Do i have to mention how good he is in David Fincher´s fantastic thriller Zodiac with actor Robert Downey Jr. ? We have of course many actors to choose between, who clearly knows what they are doing, especially Jennifer Lawrence. Then we have those actors that do try to take on different genre films, but don´t have the acting ability to do so correctly. You might be thinking about actor Jennifer Aniston right now, but i am actually thinking about actor Gerard Butler. This is a man who really have taken some wild swings, when it comes to choosing movies. There have been a few good choices, such as 300, and of course one of my favourite films with Gerard, known as Law Abiding Citizen with actor Jamie Foxx. Actually, i still think the crime thriller Law Abiding Citizen is worth watching on Netflix, or renting. Over the years, it has become clear that Gerard Butler have tried to push the limits, doing a very awful performance in Movie 43, and delivered a very forgettable performance in Gods Of Egypt ( that at least is a film you can laugh with ). It seems that Gerard is still trying to take on whatever he can, and i noticed that he have several upcoming films on the way, so he might have a surprise waiting for us. Earlier this spring, i came across a trailer for Gerard´s new film called Geostorm. It seemed to be some kind of mix of Roland Emerich disaster film 2012, and have influences from disaster films such as Volcano. Well all know how these films usually are, you can pretty much figure out the plots pretty quickly. Even if i could tell by the trailer, that Geostorm does not look very original, i always try and check out disaster action films. The cast looks good, and how can you say no to actor Andy Garcia as The President Of United States ? Exactly, we all wanted to experience this. Is the new film Geostorm a disaster film that actually delivers solid action, or should it be buried underneath the volcanos of Island, for all eternity ?

Following a series of extreme natural disasters, an international coalition commissions " Dutch Boy ", a system of satellites designed to control climate on a global scale. After Dutch Boy neutralizes a massive typhoon before it can hit Shanghai, a Senate sub-committee reprimands chief architect Jake Lawson ( Gerard Butler ) for activating satellites without their approval, and replaces him with his brother Max Lawson ( Jim Sturgess ), who works under Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom ( Ed Harris ). 3 years have passed and Jake is living a quiet life with his daughter Hannah Lawson ( Talitha Eliana Bateman ). Until one day, when Jake´s brother Max shows up, he needs his brother to investigate the International Climate Space Station ( ICSS ), after some serious weather conditions have occurred in Afghanistan, where a United Relations field team comes across a frozen village. An engineer working for ICSS, stole data from the Afghanistan satellite, and Jake needs to locate the missing hard drive. With more serious weather changes on the way, more innocent people will be lost, unless Jake and his team can stop the superstorm.

When a film is so bad, that it actually becomes fun to watch, you know you are in for a good time ( especially the dialogue ). In fact, this film is supposed to be serious, taking on subjects like global warming. But you can´t take the film serious, because the message goes out completely wrong. The cast acts really bad, the CGI effects are not in world class, and the plot is as thin as P Diddy´s constant name changes. You could say that Geostorm is a film, that tries to be another version of all the natural disaster films you have seen. But it is very hard to see the point of the film, if this was really meant to be a serious film. The plot is very simple, and you don´t really need to think about what is going on. Everything is explained ( well, almost ), in a very predictable way. To see actors like Gerard Butler, Ed Harris and Andy Garcia in a film like Geostorm is one of the most odd film experiences for me personally this year. All 3 of them have made good films, so they should be able to make great characters feel interesting. But that is one problem with this film, you don´t really feel interested in the characters, so it basically comes to what the action scenes looks like. The CGI is not as good as you would expect, considering the film´s budget around 120 million dollars. Remember the CGI in Gods Of Egypt ? Well, you have some similar special effects here as well, but in space instead of in Egypt. The explosions, and the buildings falling apart will probably look awsome for a 15 year old, but for us who loves good looking disaster films such as San Andreas with Dwayne " The Rock " Johnson, we can´t be filled with happiness. So is there anything good about Geostorm at all ? I think the mixture of disaster action and the serious tone, becomes so funny in some scenes, that i can´t stop laughing. And this is a good sign, when you can laugh in a film, that is not meant to be a comedy. And for that i have to say, this is something that does not happen very often in this film genre. Director Dean Devlin is a legendary producer with many great classics in his days of Hollywood, such as Universal Soldier, Stargate and Independence Day. Geostorm is actually his full feature directorial debut as an director, and it is such as shame that he did not deliver more with this material. With a great cast, and a fun idea, Geostorm could have been a film for those who loves Roland Emmerich´s film 2012. Instead, it is a film most people will forget. China actually helped Geostorm by bringing in over 60 million dollars at the box office. That won´t help the film from the financial failure the film have done in America. But one thing is clear, if we do get a sequel, China clearly want to see more of Gerard Butler in space.

Rating: DD

tisdag 21 november 2017


Back in the early days of the 80´s, my grandmother Maj used to be the one who talked about horror movies. She would let me watch horror films, that i was not supposed to see. Thankfully, this was my beginning to a whole new world of horror films. She lived in a small town, where a smaller video store rented out some really fun cheesy horror films. So yes, my grandmother made me the horror geek i still am today. Ever since my youth, i have watched so many horror films, from the VHS generation, and developed through dvd´s, and in present day it is of course blu rays that please me most. I love brutal, gory, bloody horror films, maybe because i have always felt like one of the Mormons, i love walking around in fancy clothes, wearing extreme smiles. So let´s go back in time, to the year of 2004, and let´s talk about one specific film. Am i thinking about the film Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2? This is in fact a film that should not exist. I would like to talk about a film called Saw. Directed by James Wan, we were delivered a horror film, that looked like nothing we have seen before. Saw proved that it was still possible to make intelligent horror films, and director James Wan showed everyone that he knew exactly what he was doing. The plot about 2 men, locked up in a room, where they have to play a deadly game, where only one can survive. It may not sound very original, but when you start to watch the film, you realise that there actually is an intelligent unexpected twist beneath all the secrets. Saw became a world wide hit in theatres, so of course the film studio had to make more sequels. Saw 2 and Saw 3 was actually not that bad, but when Saw 4 kicked in, you could tell they were running out of ideas. More sequels came along, and it seemed that it would never stop. Until in 2010, with the release of Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. I will admit that the character Jigsaw ( played by actor Toby Bell ), was one of the highlights of the Saw films. But it seemed like it was the right thing to do, to end the Saw film franchise. For a long time it semeed like we would not see another Saw film, until another sequel to the Saw films were announced. That film would be called Jigsaw. I was not really excited about this, but decided to see the film in cinemas anyway. Do we finally have a good sequel of the Saw franchise after so many years, or is this supposed to be flushed down the toilet with all the turds ?

Edgar Munsen ( Josiah Black ) is hunted down by police. He is wearing a triggered device, and warns that if he is shot, he will let several people be killed in a game. Police shoot him down, and the game begins. 5 people wake up in a special designed barn. As they begin to hear the voice of John Kramer ( Toby Belle ), they have to play a game. If they play by the rules, they will survive. Detectives Halloran ( Callum Keith Rennie ) and Keith Hunt ( Clé Bennett ) are on the hunt for a serial killer, where they have found clues from bodies, that Jigsaw might still be alive. This seems impossible, until they dig deeper into the truth. 5 people will loose their lives, unless one of them have what it takes to survive every game.

I kind of knew what i would expect going into the cinema for this film. We would get gory scenes, we would get to see Jigsaw play games again, and we get to see people scream. So there you go, this is most of the plot of this film. There are a few scenes, where they try to do something different compared to the precious Saw films, but it feels like this film was just made to please the big fans of the Saw franchise. To make this film interesting, you would have needed a much more intelligent plot, and not focus all on the brutal traps. What could have been an interesting chapter of the Saw franchise, feels pretty dull and uninspired. I do like seeing Toby Belle back in his role as Jigsaw, he still is the great key to these films, and his unique voice makes the character Jigsaw feel creepy. Nice to see actor Paul Braunstein as one of the kidnapped victims Ryan, in Jigsaw´s deadly games. He is actually a highlight in this film, as the cocky, loud Ryan, who don´t take shit from anyone. All the game scenes are not awful, i especially like one scene, where everyone will be hanged, unless someone is injected with acid. Directors Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig ( known as The Spierig Brothers ), have directed 2 good horror films in the past, the Australian zombie film Undead, and the vampire film Daybreakers. They are a good choice for directing a film as Jigsaw, but for some reason, it does not feel like they have made this film with passion for this film genre. And that is such a shame, because i can tell that they have some good ideas behind the script. As the film stands now, Jigsaw feels like another sequel to Saw, that does not bring anything fresh for the audience. It is not completely awful, but lacks of confidence. If you are a big fan of the Saw films, i know you will see this one anyway. The first Saw film will always be the best film of this franchise, no matter how many sequels they make. And i would not be surprised if Jigsaw 2 will come out. My advice, i think you should spend your money and buy the blu ray or dvd release of It Stains The Sands Red instead of watching Jigsaw in cinemas. A zombie film that actually deliver quality, who can say no to that ?

Rating: DD

fredag 17 november 2017


There are plenty of talented young actors, who continue to make amazing performances, no matter what genres they choose. Every film may not be good, but if the performance is good, you still want to watch. A selection of young actors, clearly have a passion about making quality films. I am especially thinking about one actor, who perhaps is known mostly from her character Katniss Everdeen, in the film series of The Hunger Games. I am of course talking about actor Jennifer Lawrence. This is a woman who knows how to act amazingly good. Just think about her performances in films such as Winter´s Bone, Silver Linings Playbook, Joy or how about American Hustle ? Of course she have also delivered in several other films, but she is clearly dedicated to delivering quality acting. I love the fact that she tries to go out of the comfort zone, just to challenge herself more. This gives her an opportunity to discover interesting stories, that may capture the audiences attention. Earlier this year i saw Jennifer Lawrence in the sci fi drama The Passengers. It was an interesting film, with a different take on science fiction. It was very clear that Jennifer was the most powerful character of this film, and without her, the film would probably not have worked. I will say that actors Chris Pratt and Michael Shannon both did a good job, even though they could not reach the same acting level as Jennifer. As i was reading about the 74th Venice Film Festival, i noticed that director Darren Aronofsky´s new film Mother! would be shown at the festival, with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role. Since i am a big fan of director Darren Aronofsky´s films in the past, of course i was very curious to see what this film could be. The trailer for the film Mother! released in theatres, did not reveal anything. So it was a very smart move to do this, to make sure the audience will be more interested in seeing the film. With a very talented director, and a very good cast included, is Mother! one of the most powerful films of this year, or is this a film so bad you want to forget about it ?

Mother ( Jennifer Lawrence ) wakes up in a bed. She looks around for her husband Him ( Javier Bardem ), a writer who is working on his latest book. Mother is painting the walls off the house, as she have some strange sightings, where a heart is beating inside the wall. One day, Doctor ( Ed Harris ) knocks on the door, as Him let the Doctor in. Mother have no idea why her husband let a stranger in, but he clearly is not feeling well. Next day they get another visit from the doctor´s wife, Woman ( Michelle Pfeiffer ). Him let her stay in their house as well, as guests. Mother does not like this at all, and she can´t understand why these strangers are welcome to live there. More people begin to show up, and Mother is very upset. Why is so many people coming to their home, and why won´t they leave ?

Before i watched Mother!, i have heard very mixed reviews and opinions about this film. When you hear so many different opinions, it clearly shows that this is not a film for everyone. And this of course made me even more curious to see Mother! I can tell you this, if you don´t enjoy films that are odd, then Mother! is perhaps not your cup of tea. This is a film, that move in different directions, with some very unexpected turns. I would also say that this is a film you will probably hate, or love it. I found myself enjoying this film, and i will try to explain later. I would say that Mother! have influences from Roman Polanski´s classic film Rosemary´s Baby, without looking anything like that film. Since the film moves around different characters, you have to have patience to understand what the film is trying to say. There are religious messages throughout the film, without disrespecting religious people. I think the film does manage to tell a story, that looks very different from the ordinary Hollywood release. This is a very disturbing look, in human behavior, and how evil can affect us. This is also a film that tries to dig into relationships and personal issues. The first half of Mother! is where we are introduced to most of the characters of the film, and this is where things get interesting. The second half changes path completely, and i find myself wondering if this was a good idea. Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role is the strength of the film, her character is the most interesting personality, and you can understand why she is very confused. Actor Javier Bardem is not as strong on an acting level, not if you compare to his other films. I do enjoy seeing legendary actors Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris here, as the odd married couple. Director Darren Aronofsky is very well known for his unique, and very intelligent films Requiem Of A Dream and Black Swan. He also did the very powerful drama film The Wrestler, where actor Mickey Rourke did the best acting performance of his career ( so far ). I do think director Darren Aronofsky have some interesting ideas with his film Mother!, and he does make a strong impact, at least until the second half begins, then the film start to loose control for a while. Mother! is a unique film, and there are something fascinating about the story surrounding the film. But it all becomes too odd, and perhaps too complicated, for me to really appreciate this film. With that said, i will say that i still enjoy Mother! for being a unique and artistic film. This is not of the films that director Darren Aronofsky will be remembered for, but i do think Mother! leaves an impact. I seriously doubt you will see anything like this, before the year ends. 

Rating: DDD

söndag 12 november 2017

Good Time

Let´s turn back the clock 9 years back in time. We are of course talking about the year of 2008. It was a year where many important events took place. This was the year when singer Amy Winehouse won her Grammy Award, this was also the year when Fidel Castro retired as the President Of Cuba. Let´s not forget that this was also the year when California legalized same-sex marriage. But let´s turn our heads for a moment on another moment of this year, that made headlines worldwide. This was the year that the first Twilight film was released in cinemas. Based on the book by author Stephenie Meyer. I saw the film, and i was not really impressed. A romantic vampire story, made for teenage audiences. My biggest issue with the film, is that i did not care about they characters, or the story. Of course we got more sequels on the way, and some of these sequels are really awful. Lead actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison could not make any of the films any good, no matter how they tried. When the Twilight films finally ended with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, i was really happy. No more Twilight least for a while. Actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison went different ways, and tried making other films. Kristen Stewart proved herself, with roles such in the well made drama films such as Clouds Of Sils Maria, and perhaps her best performance in Still Alice. Robert Pattison did also try to find films outside his comfort zones. At first it did not seem to make any difference. Some of the films he made before the final Twilight films, were not any good, But, out of nowhere, i did not expect to see him in a film by legendary director David Cronenberg, known as the title Cosmopolis. This is actually a great film, and Robert Patison showed that he can act, only if he get the right character. He also did a good performance in the Australian film The Rover, with legendary actor Guy Pearce. Earlier this year, i was hearing very positive words about Robert Pattison´s performance in a film called Good Time. Especially when the film was nominated at the Cannes Film Festival. Is this the best film of Robert Patison´s career so far, or just as bad as his earlier work ?

Constantine " Connie " Nicklas ( Robert Pattison ) is a destructive criminal, who convince his mentally disabled brother Nick Nikas ( Ben Safdie ) , to help him with a bank robbery. Everything does not go as planned, and Nick is arrested. Connie manage to hide the money in a fast food restaurant, but he knows his brother can´t survive prison. To get Nick out, Connie needs more money. Some of the money he got from the robbery have been destroyed by paint, caused by dye pack. Connie asks his girlfriend Corey ( Jennifer Jason Leigh ) for help, using her mother´s credit card. This fails also, so Connie has to find another way to get the cash. He finds out his brother have been brutally beaten in prison, and taken to hospital. This is his chance to get his brother out, back on the streets. 

I had no big expectations going into the film Good Time. I thought that this would probably be another crime drama, we have seen so many times before. But i am so happy to say, i was wrong. In fact, this film is so good, i can barely believe that actor Robert Pattison could be this good, as he is in this film. It is like seeing him do a completely different transformation, as he is a completely different actor than before. As if he finally understood what acting is all about. This is a very violent, brutal, and really powerful drama film, that will leave a very emotional impact on you. The colors, the dialogue, the acting, everything falls into pieces in the right way with this film, and Good Time is probably one of the best drama films of this year. I can not say that the story is very original, but the film does manage to work because of very intelligent material. Directors Joshua Safdie and Ben Safdie have directed a couple of smaller films in the past, where perhaps the heroine drama Heaven Knows Best is their most known film. Good Time proves that they have really hit a really emotional journey, that you will not forget. The story of 2 brothers, where one of them is mentally handicapped, messing up their lives in a world of criminality, feels really heavy. And directors Joshua and Ben know how to make this story feel realistic, with a really brutal image. When you see Robert Pattison´s character Connie become frustrated, angry, sad, and can´t control his emotions, this is where we get to see the quality acting a film like this needs. The world is a shitty place to be, especially if you have no future, and all you know is to be a criminal. Legendary actor Jennifer Jason Leigh is also really good as Connie´s girlfriend Corey, a woman with no self esteem, and is stuck. Ben Safdie as mentally disabled brother Nick, is one of those characters that will affect you. To see him fall deeper, into problems he can´t handle or understand, is really sad. Just the idea to force a mentally disabled brother to do crimes, is really disturbing. Good Time is a film that got me completely stuck, because of the powerful performances and the brutal portraits of people with no hope. This is a film i will remember for a long time, and that does not happen very often. I don´t know why Robert Patison have not been nominated for more awards, i seriously doubt you have ever seen him as good, as he is in Good Time. If there is one drama film you should see this year, it is Good Time. 

Rating: DDDD

Before this year ends, we need to do a 20 years anniversary of Event Horizon

Greetings movie lovers worldwide!

I am working on some fresh movie reviews for this month, and there will be reviews in different categories. Unfortunately, i did see the new trailer for Fifty Shades Of Another Awful Sequel, and yes, it looks really bad....

But the good news is that i have new reviews on the way, and that has to be seen as awsome. By the way, before this year ends, why not celebrate another film since it has turned 20 years old ? I am thinking about Paul W.S. Anderson´s cult classic film Event Horizon from 1997. I am pretty sure most sci fi geeks have seen this film at some point. I have not seen Event Horizon for many years, so i decided that i should take a look on the Special Edition on blu ray, that included a lot of special features. I predict that the review will be posted by the end of November, since i am posting fresh movie reviews first. Take good care everyone, and see you soon with fresh movie reviews.

Cheers from Daniel - The Handsome Swedish Gentleman

onsdag 8 november 2017


Over the years, when i have travelled across Europe, i always try to check out historical buildings, or historical monuments. I find it interesting to learn about more about the past, and there is especially one period of time i have always been curious to know more about, World War II. We all have heard stories from this period of history, and all the tragedy and suffering, so many people went through. Of course, Germany will always live with the shame of Adolf Hitler, the most evil man who have walked on this Earth. When i was in Berlin back in 2013, i went with my wife on a round trip, to see different locations in Berlin, when World War II events changed history. It was educational, but at the same time truly horrible, of how Germans treated the Jewish people, and murdered so many of them. It is very important that our younger generation learn about the past, because we can never forget of what happened during these years. Another trip i did was also to London, and i have been there more than once. A city filled with history, where you have much to learn. England have always had some really strong historical figures a long the way, and there are plenty of people we could mention. But let´s focus on one specific man, that most of you know as Winston Churchill. The British Prime Minister between the years of 1940 - 1945, became Prime Minister again during 1951 - 1955. For those of you who have read about Winston Churchill in history books, or seen documentaries on TV, you probably know that he really cared for England, and did a lot of hard work during war to guarantee that Germany would not win. I find his personality fascinating, and he seemed to be a man who knew how to handle complicated situations. We have to remember, back in those days, you needed a man who could make decisions. And Winston seemed to be a man who wanted to act correctly, even if he also felt that he made some mistakes. In the movie industry, there have been films made, based on the life on Winston Churchill. Some of you might have seen The Gathering Storm with legendary actor Albert Finney in the lead role as Winston Churchill. Or, perhaps you have seen a more recent film called Into The Storm with excellent actor Brendan Gleeson in the lead role ? Earlier this year, i was reading about a new film called Churchill, with legendary actor Brian Cox in the lead role. The film never came to cinemas across Sweden during summer, so i got a chance to watch the dvd instead. Is this a really well made historical drama film, or is this a film you probably will forget within a few seconds ?

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ( Brian Cox ) is exhausted by the years of all the wars he have been through. And he awaits the 1944 Normandy landings, which he believes will be a disaster. But if there is one thing he have learned over the years, is that you can never loose hope. With his team during crisis, Winston Churchill is about to see a next chapter in history, where nothing is impossible. But can he handle his personal life, or is his position taking over everything that he once used to have ?

When you see a film, based on a real historical person, you know it can be hard to portrait how the person was in real life. But i have to say, lead actor Brian Cox does a really good performance as Winston Churchill. I would dare to say that he is actually the most powerful character in this film. The scenes where Brian Cox let his temper out, shows that he have really tried to make his portrait of this legendary historical Icon. There is a lot of dialogue throughout the film, so don´t expect to see a lot of action. This is more supposed to be a biographical film, to show us how Winston Churchill was as a person, and how he managed to deal with his complicated life. The film tries to bring us closer to who Churchill was, and how he functioned as the British Prime Minister, and i have to say that the portrait works with the storyline. Australian director Jonathan Teplitzky, who directed the interesting drama film The Railway Man, seems to have taken on this film with passion for the ground material. You do get to see some different sides to Churchill, especially how he was in his personal life, and how he handled personal problems. The alcohol is of course one of the subjects, and the cigars. This is a combination that Churchill was known for, and this film needed to show his lifestyle to make it feel more realistic. Now to some negative points. Some of the dialogues scenes feels a bit drawn out, to fill in the storyline. It would have been more interesting to look deeper into Churchill´s personal demons, instead of hearing a lot of conversations among military forces. Some of the characters don´t really get a chance to deliver as many powerful scenes as Brian Cox do, so he basically carry this film on hiw own. There are a few good acting performances to mention, especially actor Miranda Richardson as Churchill´s wife Clementine. She does give a strong performance, and she also manage to show a strong female portrait that fits great with the film. Churchill is an interesting look into a man´s life, who had to do a lot of hard decisions in his life time. This film give us a taste of how it must have been, walking in his shoes. If you enjoy biographical films, based on true people, then i suggest you watch Churchill on dvd or blu ray. There is actually a new film coming out in November ( in USA ) called Darkest Hour with actor Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Until it lands in cinemas, give Brian Cox a chance, and i am sure you will enjoy his version of this legendary historical Icon.

Rating: DDD

The Game ( 20 Years Anniversary )

There are some directors that have managed to do a lot of different genre films, and have proved themselves to be very professional. Some directors have the balls to actually try on so many different stories, you can tell that they are not afraid to take on a challenge. And one of the directors i am thinking about, is of course legendary director David Fincher. When you look back at the films he have made so far, you are amazed how many of the films deliver such high level of film quality. Some might say that his directorial debut Alien 3 is shit, i would say that it is at least ok. But he really stepped it up with the 1995 thriller Seven. This is without a doubt one of the best serial killer films in movie history, and the performances from Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow are all excellent. One of the things that made Seven such an amazing thriller, was the brutality portrayed with the murders. The details you see, was something very different from other serial killer films in the past. Director David Fincher digged much deeper on a psychological level, and made sure to make a very unusual thriller than before. Seven is a must see, especially on blu ray. Director David Fincher have directed a lot of great films over the years, and he clearly seems to be going for quality films. Just think about his films Panic Room, Fight Club, Zodiac ( this one is damn good, especially the extended version on blu ray ) and The Social Network. There are of course a number of films we could mention more than there, but let´s focus on one particular film from the year of 1997. This was the year when director David Fincher made his third film The Game, with legendary actor Michael Douglas. The film turned out to be a very intelligent thriller, and very different from anything released that year. I remember how much i enjoyed the film back then, and since 20 years have passed since the film was released this year, i thought i should see it again to see if the film still holds up today. After so many years, does The Game still manage to capture the audience, or have the film grown older with these years and feel less interesting ?

Nicholas Van Orten ( Michael Douglas ) is a wealthy investment banker, living alone in a mansion. He is a hard worker and is very dedicated to his job. One day, Nicholas meets up with his younger brother Conrad van Orton ( Sean Penn ) at a restaurant. It turns out that Conrad have a birthday present for Nicholas, a gift card from the company CRS. At first, Nicholas is not sure if this is just a joke, but Conrad highly recommends that Nicholas give this a try. This is a game, where anything can happen. Nicholas decide to wait for a moment, before he decides to look this game up. Until one day, when he happen to be in the same building as CRS, and sign their papers. What Nicholas does not know, is that this is no ordinary game. This is a game that will change his life completely.

To go from the magnificant thriller Seven, to a completely different kind of thriller with The Game, is without a doubt a very difficult challenge. Even if The Game is not as good as Seven, i still consider The Game to be one of the better films from director David Fincher. Why ? Because this film does have an original plot, and some very interesting twists and turns along the way. You also get a really strong performance from actor Michael Douglas, who gives his character a strong personality. Perhaps that is also why i enjoy The Game so much, since it is not very often you get a main character, as you get in this film. Just when you get to know that this is supposed to be a game, things become very interesting. Are there any rules ? Are there any limits ? How do you know what path you should choose ? There are a number of questions you will ask yourself while watching this film, and this shows that there is a intelligent story here. You can´t really figure out anything from the beginning of the game, you have to guess what will happen next. Since the 90´s had some really good quality films, it is so nice to return to The Game now 20 years later, and discover that this film is just as good, as it was when i was 20 years old. We have to talk about the cast. Sean Penn is here for a few scenes, and of course you know he can deliver. I would have liked to see more of him, but the scenes he is included works. Actor James Rebhorn does a fine performance as the CRS informer Jim Feingold, and i also enjoy seeing legendary actor Pete Donat here as Samuel Sutherland. You will probably recognize some other actors as well during the film. but the most interesting thing about this film, is how professional director David Fincher have constructed this story. We have seen directors try and make films based on some kind of game, but maybe this film is perhaps one of the few that actually manage to pull that off on the right track. The Game is in my mind one of the better thrillers of the 90´s, and still deliver on a very high quality level, both from an acting perspective, and from a film making perspective. Michael Douglas proved himself again with this film, showing why he is one of the greatest Hollywood legends. Make sure to get the blu ray, and i promise you, The Game will get you hooked up, just like this film did 20 years ago. One thing is for sure, if anyone gives me a birthday card with a phone number, i will be running out the door.....

Rating: DDDD