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Storm (2005) – His Review September 25, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Drama, Movies, Sci-Fi, Thriller.

Storm bork bork bork!Dir. Måns Mårland and Björn Stein
Starring Eric Ericson, Eva Röse and Jonas Karlsson

Sweden is hardly known for mainstream cinema, in fact the only thing most foreign people will know of swedish cinema is Ingmar Bergman, so don’t feel too out of the loop if you read this review and go “huh?”.

Storm follows succesful but detatched thirty-something journalist DD (Ericson), who leads a “rich” social life with parties and drugs, but doesn’t have much of an inner life. His fish-bowl world cracks when he meets a mysterious woman, hunted by unknown fiends, who seems to know him inside out. Despite his best attempts he gets involved, and receives a seemingly unbreachable metal box. The hunters now go after him, to get hold of the box before it is opened.

There’s hasn’t been many good Swedish movies made since the 80’s. Even the new generation of film-makers seem to follow in the footsteps of the old garde – directors who haven’t changed direction since their first movie, and writers who keep rewriting the same script over and over. How many damn “comedies” can you make about a man and a woman who have been married for 10 years, drink and fight, and then get divorced? Why would kids want to see the 3rd sequel to the crappy kids version of the multi-sequel remake of a Danish original movie series? Where’s the originality?

Well, it’s not in this movie. But – and it’s a big but – this movie steals it’s inspiration not from Sweden, but the mainstream international market, while still retaining a subtle Swedish aftertaste. The action scenes are certainly nothing to gape over, and the ride isn’t as smooth as it can be with an accomplished driver/director, but it is quite refreshing nevertheless. The straight action-movie lingo can be pretty annoying, but I found that, along with the comicbooks that are also used as a literary device, it sort of makes sense. It’s surreal and fake, as if filtered through the mind of a 10 year old film- and comicbook-geek, another piece of DD’s puzzle.

You’re allowed to not like this movie, it probably takes a certain mindset when you watch it to get engrossed since it’s so fidgety. If you like movies that switch genres on you, fairly successfully, from flickering sci-fi action to spine-tingling thriller to heart-wrenching drama, give it a try. It may work on you.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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Storm (2005) – Her Review September 25, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Drama, Movies, Sci-Fi, Thriller.
1 comment so far

Swedish Rubik's CubeDir. Måns Mårland and Björn Stein
Starring Eric Ericson, Eva Röse and Jonas Karlsson

This movie starts out like a typical sci-fi thriller, with Lova, (Eva Röse) or Promise as they call her in English, being followed by a multitude of men including the character played by Jonas Karlsson. She is protecting what appears to be a brushed silver cube which she hands off to another girl telling her to guard it with her life as they are apparently the only survivors. I was strangely intrigued… what could the cube be… did it contain something, did it have some sort of power?

Enter Eric Ericsson as DD. He’s a bachelor in Stockholm who seems quite content to live alone. After listening to his neighbor having sex with his girlfriend, he quite, nonchalantly, lets us know that he believes that love is pretty useless… and if you want sex, you’re never better served than by yourself. Not only does he not appear to be affected by sentimental feelings, we learn that since he was a child he also cannot feel any pain of the physical kind. After another boring night at the bar, he opens up his taxi door to help Promise, who appears practically out of nowhere, fleeing from some mighty dangerous dudes. Hence starts DD’s descent into a maddening spiral of events.

The movie has many twists and turns, moving between scenes that appear as if out of a video game, others from comic books and even revisiting DD’s past. It certainly appears more complex and complicated in writing than on the screen. I felt the movie moved along smoothly and opened layer after layer to the viewer’s eyes which made it easy to understand.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

This movie deals with a subject seen in many movies over time… a tragic event that leaves someone scarred and incapable of becoming a secure and happy adult. Storm uses a unique and interesting way of entering DD’s mind and his memories to help him become whole again. DD must relive some horrendous acts he did (not pertaining to the actual tragic event) hoping to be punished because he is riddled by guilt. Promise is there to help him while the character played by Jonas is trying to prevent him reliving his pain and tries to get him to stay just as he is.. cold and detatched.

The story is not a new one, but Storm brings a new twist in how the story is told and although it had lots of action scenes it managed to make us care for DD and feel his pain; the pain he’d been avoiding since childhood, the pain that has prevented him, until now, from being able to love and be loved.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

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Nothing (2003) – His Review August 20, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Comedy, Fantasy, Movies, Mystery, Sci-Fi.
1 comment so far

Much ado about Nothing

Dir. Vincenzo Natali
Starring David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Gordon Pinsent etc.,

This review contains no spoilers!

This is not the movie version of Seinfeld, but it is a movie about nothing.

Nothing is the story of two friends who both have the worst day of their lives. Dave is accused of embezzling from his work, he is fired, and his girlfriend dumps him. Andrew gets locked out of the house and ends up accused of molesting a girl scout. To top it off they receive notice that their house is being demolished.

Then nothing happens.

If you enjoy odd movies that deal with pure fantastic elements, you’ll like this movie. It’s not a joke-y comedy, it’s got much more in common with arthouse cinema than National Lampoon, but it is very funny. It gets a bit dark and grim at times, but there’s fun in that too.

I can’t really go into anything more about this movie without ruining at least part of the actual point of it. I hadn’t seen the trailer for it before seeing the movie, and they do give way too much away in it, so you may want to steer clear (link to the trailer in case you just don’t care). I promise, it’s a lot more fun to see this film without knowing what’s gonna happen. And it’s an everflowing source of puns – “What did you watch today?” “Oh, Nothing”.

This is His review, you can read Her review here which doesn’t have spoilers either.

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Nothing (2003) – Her Review August 20, 2006

Posted by Eury in Comedy, Fantasy, Movies, Mystery, Sci-Fi.
1 comment so far

Nothing lasts forever

Dir. Vincenzo Natali
Starring David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Gordon Pinsent etc.,

David and Andrew have been best friends since they’ve been 9 years old. Neither are popular; Dave is very self-centered and Andrew is afraid of everything. They survive by sticking together. Even as an adult, David (David Hewlett) doesn’t get along well with anyone, except for Andrew (Andrew Miller) work at home travel agent, agoraphobic and pack rat. They live together in a house filled to the brim with lots of junk until one day their lives take a spin for the worse when both are accused of crimes they have not committed. Nothing more of the plot can be told after this without spoiling all the fun, and I really don’t want to do that.

What I can say is this film, written and directed by Vincenzo Natali, who also wrote and directed the famous Canadian cult classic “Cube” is truly “nothing” to scoff at. Natali, quite famous for his grandiose visions that he creates with low-budgets and green/blue screens does not disappoint. This movie is extremely funny, extremely original and like “nothing” I’ve ever seen before and it sort of makes me proud to say that it’s Canadian! Trust me, find this little unknown jewel and let yourself enjoy something truly unique.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) – His Review August 13, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Comedy, Drama, Movies, Mystery.

She was weighing her options

Dir. Clint Eastwood

Starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, Alison Eastwood

Going in, I had this movie pegged as a dirty south noir thriller, exposing some sort of old truth about people. An antithesis to Gone With the Wind if you will. Gritty, templated, and.. well.. probably boring.

Boy was I wrong.

It’s kind of fun seeing a movie with absolutely nothing to go on but the movie poster, isn’t it? Anyways, this is more in the vein of a Coen brothers comedy, where the subtle and traditional get brushed off and displayed alongside the bizarre and spectacular, without any preferential treatment.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tells the tale of freelance reporter John Kelso, who gets a gig in Savannah, Georgia to cover an exclusive christmas party for the magazine Town & Country. The scoop quickly derails when the host of the party, eccentric millionaire Lex Luthor, shoots and kills Alfie (none too soon).

Kelso sticks around though, and turns private investigator as he interviews the people around the area, finding just as much oddities as clues. The whole movie feels very laid back and comfortable, perhaps a southern touch. And all of it is entertaining, if not outright hilarious. Now, IMDb doesn’t list it as a comedy, and you may have to be of a certain disposition to find it funny, but that could be said of an Adam Sandler movie as well. The laughs are there if you manage to connect to the warm, pulsating core of it. The suspense is mostly missing, the crime mystery is secondary to the rest of the story, even though everything is centered around it. It adds a bit of realism to this half-true story, since in real life things aren’t resolved in the third act.

This is His review, you can read Her review here

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) – Her Review August 13, 2006

Posted by Eury in Comedy, Drama, Movies, Mystery.
1 comment so far

Geez, your dog really has lost a lot of weight

Dir. Clint Eastwood

Starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, Alison Eastwood

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is based on a true story about nouveau-riche collector , Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey) accused of having murdered his gigolo boyfriend, Billy Hanson (Jude Law). The story is set in the very southern, gothic town of Savannah, Georgia where the Victorian homes are surrounded by manicured lawns and bushes and enclosed in wonderfully ornate black iron fences. John Kelso (John Cusack) a reporter that is there, for a day only, to cover the Williams Xmas party, decides, instead, to stay and interview the town’s people and write a book about the murder.

Although this is supposedly a crime mystery, to me it seems more a depiction of the look and mood of a small southern city where many rich and eccentric people live.

Minor Spoilers ahead

There is the man who walks an invisible dog, an old voodoo woman who wears dark sunglasses even at midnight and a sour alcolholic inventor with huge horse flies on strings attached to his clothing, who walks around with a small bottle of poison that he threatens everyone he’ll dispense into the water system one day and kill them all.

As quirky as these people may seem, what is truly interesting and very droll, is the nonchalant and very accepting reaction of the people that live there. Nobody lifts an eyebrow and it’s just all part of everyday life in Savannah.

One of the more entertaining players in the movie, is Lady Chablis (played by him/herself 😉 ) a transsexual who does a club act about her sexuality yet at the same time keeps her rolled up weiner snitzchel a secret from her boyfriend cause she wants to tell him “when the time is right”.

Although IMDB listed this movie as a crime drama, I find it difficult to place it into this category as the character and mood of the people and place completely override the murder mystery here… yeah, it is there, but to me it almost feels like the subplot. It felt as if the murder mystery was an excuse to show how people of that town reacted to it and other crimes, mostly sweeping it (and any other delicate matters) under the rug, for the sake of appearance. It’s all about southern hospitality and deceptive politeness. It seems as if nobody really cares if he is punished or not, even Williams, himself, who seems more interested in knowing if he will be the main player in the book that John Kelso will write about him. Seeing how he paid “Town and Country” magazine to make sure he would be the writer to cover his Xmas party, it almost seems like the murder was already on his agenda, he just needed the proper person around to make sure that it became not only a newspaper article, but a huge affair, because everything here is bigger and better.

Clint Eastwood‘s daughter’s (Alison Eastwood) role in this movie, Mandy Nichols, probably could have been left on the cutting floor. She is pretty and free-spirited but her relationship with Kelso is boring and we never get at all attached to her at all, they have no love story, it is all incidental and just seemed as an extra distraction.

As a crime mystery, I would say forget it… it isn’t thrilling or very mysterious and you won’t be biting your nails trying to figure out what happened. As a humorous look on a society that is slow paced, (just like their southern drawl), very flamboyant, exotic and over the top… it’s hilarious.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

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The City of Lost Children (1995) August 4, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Adventure, Drama, Movies, Sci-Fi.
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Not exactly the Titanic

Dir. Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Starring: Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon and Joseph Lucien etc.,

This is the story of a sometimes circus strongman, a band of miniscule thiefs, a league of extra-ocular gentlemen, and a mad scientist.

It doesn’t say much does it? As with many good movies, the storyline in The City of Lost Children makes little sense in abbreviated form, and I’m not gonna go into too much detail. In short, it’s a Oliver Twist. That’s right, you get the ill-treated orphans adopted into street gangs, stealing seemingly thousands and thousands of moneys (francs? euros?) from any vault and pocket that their tiny hands can get into. You also get all sorts of (not so) high-tech gadgets created out of all sorts of trash.

Warning: minor spoilers ahead.

It’s pretty much a DIY-world, where everything “thrown away” is picked up and recycled, including children. The man behind the abductions is a self-imposed scientist (who’s actually an experiment gone bad himself), who kidnaps the city’s little ones in order to harness their dreams for himself. He cannot dream you see, so he’s getting prematurely old.

Ron Perlman is in this movie, and no, it’s not a repeat of his role in The Name of The Rose, but it’s not far off. As the strongman with an “accent grave”, he adds a sense that the grown-ups in the world of the movie are as lost as the kids are. He’s looking for his little brother who was kidnapped by the mysterious “cyclops”-people. It gets weirder than all of this of course, but it’s something the movie will have to say for itself. Tiredness may not be a good thing, since this movie demands your attention, there’s so much detail to look at. See it with someone who eats quietly.

This is His review, you can read Her review here

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The City of Lost Children (1995) August 4, 2006

Posted by Eury in Adventure, Drama, Movies, Sci-Fi.
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The movie Tim Burton would have made if he were French

Dir. Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Starring: Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon and Joseph Lucien etc.,

Although this has nothing to do directly with the story, I thought I’d let you know that I really had no preconceived notions at all before viewing this movie and you may find it mildly amusing why. I had somehow gotten into my head (how and why, I don’t know) that we were going to watch some sort of Japanese saga probably about some kids that were going to be whisked away from their parents and brought to a Buddhist monastery in Tibet to see who their future “from God’s mouth to their ears” semi-deity would be. Well, I was completely wrong, of course, because this movie is nothing of the sort. It’s a mysterious, very creative and wonderfully bizarre adventure.

The movie starts off like a dream that quickly turns into a nightmare where orphan children are taught and used to do robberies, and where Krank (Daniel Emilfork) kidnaps children to try and steal their innocent dreams as he has none of his own and is aging prematurely because of it.

Ron Perlman plays One, a retired sailor (who couldn’t catch another whale after he heard one sing) who with the help of Miette (Judith Vittet) tries to find Denrée (Joseph Lucien), aptly named because he loves to eat , who has been taken by Krank’s goons. Although blind, they have electronic night-vision goggles attached directly to their brains which seem to have some sort of radar that points them towards vulnerable children. They sweep them up into a weird and wild looking car that has, on each side, an eye within a pyramid, the “all-seeing eye”, that is used to help capture and entrap the children that are stolen. This movie is full of whacky and eerie characters including Krank’s 4 cloned brothers, Siamese twins and a brain suspended in an aquarium.

Miette, Eyed vehicle and the Brain

The elements in this movie are incredibly marvelous and it probably needs to be seen more than once to appreciate all the oddball apparatuses and quirky little details especially if you do not understand French and have to keep your eye on the sub-titles.

I thought the casting in this movie was exceptional. Krank’s smile could easily strike terror into anyone and Miette made me think of a young Amélie Poulain, not surprisingly, as she’s also the brain-child of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, co-writer and co-director of this movie.

This movie is very different from the fairytale fables typically spewed out of Hollywood (althought there a few great ones) that we are used to; instead it is magnificent, melancholic, dark and unforgettable.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

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Keywords July 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in .
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