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Maria Wern (2008)
Well, first, how there could be that many murders in Gotland, but never mind. What confuses me is what exactly was made. According to IMDb, we got a four part series in 2008, and four separate episodes in 2010 (plus the feature movie in 2012). I have four English subtitle files for the 2008 series, but not the vids, and I've watched six episodes from 2010, not four (five of the English sub files needed to be re-synched). I have the movie vid, but there are no English subs (yet).
As far as the show goes, well, nothing special. The Maria Wern character is a pretty ordinary cop, she seems to have no special gifts, no unusual personality quirks. Aside from the actress being pleasant to watch, I don't really get why this needed to be made. I enjoyed it well enough, but am I jonesing over the 2008 and 2012 material I haven't seen? Not really.
The Tunnel (2013)
The same exact plot, and a character with the same mannerisms (she even changes tops in the police bull room, that's as far as I got before erasing it). For the third time?? There was some justification for a US version, after all, we're subtitle challenged over here, or illiterate, depending on your view of the US TV audience. But anyone using the internet has seen Bron if they wanted to (I did), so I found the US version vaguely insulting to the intelligence, the way the main plot copied Bron right to the final scene on the bridge. But the Brits? I mean, they actually broadcast the original on British TV! Unbelievable, and I don't care how good the production and acting is . . . unwatchable.
Ed: Yeah, they remade Shakespeare a hundred times, but not in the same year!! The US version just ended a couple weeks ago.
A competent, professional film . . . with no critical reviews?
OK, Malcolm McDowell is just here as a "name", he's merely the narrator. Moreover, his comments are not particularly welcome, particularly after the second scenario.
That aside, this is a very good horror movie, a trilogy of tales in classic fashion. The cast is fine, the photography is excellent, the soundtrack lush and properly climatic. It's as good as any other horror/macabre movie out there right now, certainly on a par with "The Purge" for example, but fewer than five votes here? Zero critical reviews on R/T or linked here? I don't understand that at all, my first instinct was that this must be some crapola indie film, and I'd expect maybe two 9 or 10 star reviews comparing it to the best of Hitchcock (by people who had never posted any other reviews until they were hired to work on the film). But it's not, it's a well made, mainstream film with real actors and professional craftsmanship. By all means check it out.
Crossing Lines (2013)
Dead on arrival
Not because it stinks, it's competently made. There are a few actors you'll recognize (yes, it's the Game of Thrones dude), and the police procedural stuff is okay. Unfortunately it has two very large flaws, first the cast is much too large . . . er, still (ahem). You can get away with four or five, but not seven, eight? I lost count. There's no way to stay connected with that many people. Second, it fails to learn from the foreign cable police revolution like Braquo, Bron, Forbrydelsen and particularly Engrenages, which it dearly wants to be. Those series remained interesting week after week because they were a continuation of one long plot. Instead Crossing Lines is apparently adopting the US model of a new case every week, and that's just archaic, it doesn't work any more.
But it's dead on arrival because I didn't even know it existed until I stumbled across it (on usenet) and was curious enough to look it up. If NBC is doing any advertising for the show, I haven't seen it . . . of course, I can't think of anything I watch on NBC. And there's zero internet buzz, still waiting for five votes?? You have to get all the way to "Crossing (blank)" before it comes up on the search menu here. That's sick for a new series. I wonder if it will even last the 10 shows scheduled in the US?
PS: Newfreeman, there are only two other reviews aside from yours, and neither of us "rubbished" it. I said . . . well, what I wrote above, it's competent. But it's not great, in spite of the (Following inspired) wounded genius cop, he didn't actually solve the first crime, it was pretty much deus ex machina, eh? And as far as the actions of the various cops are concerned, John Cooper would have bitch slapped them for being so careless. Of course, many cop shows have those faults, how many times did Sarah Lund run into some dark hallway with zero backup?
Awful screen play??? What?
I don't understand what the first reviewer was talking about, this is a killer thriller that moves like lightning, once you get past the (very good) setup.
Is there a deep mystery to be resolved that's real interesting? Not particularly, but I believe Hitchcock had a term for that, the "mcguffin", the thing the crooks want but the audience doesn't care. This movie is about nonstop action, and it's very well done, one of the best foot chases I've ever seen, with amazing camera work. For them to have accomplished that in 35 days with two cameramen, it's just . . . astounding. By all means check it out.
Groundbreaking film of immense influence
Ignored for many years, this exciting film of the attack of the tiger men from Mars was enormously influential on future science fiction films. Noted director of early 1950's films, Theodore Sheckler (working under aliases due to his communist party membership), credited the film as "inspirational" and "brilliant beyond belief". The directors of special effects for "Star Wars" claimed to seen the film every day during production. Speaking off the record, one of them said "our goal was to somehow improve on the spaceship models used in the film, but a high bar was set." Effects director Dr. Harlan Tarbell, the noted magician, is still remembered today with the Harlan Tarbell award for special effects given out at the Oscars. Reportedly Tarbell's work was a constant reference in designing prosthetic skullcap makeup for the recent worldwide hit "Avatar", and he is particularly known for his novel use of partially hidden strings to suspend spaceships from studio ceilings.
The film was produced by the father and son team of John F. Dille and John Dille, Jr., whose budding acting career was stopped short of star potential by a fatal accident involving marmalade and a hat. His bereaved father was not able to work again, and spent his later years in seclusion, dedicating himself to invent safer marmalade in his garage workshop. His work is responsible for several patents that guide the industry today, without which tasty marmalade would probably not be in such abundance.
Not bad for a TV movie
It's kind of a plain story, this kind of thing has been done many times. As much as I admire King, I never even read the book after learning of the plot, the first book of his I missed.
Anyway, like I said, routine, and pretty good considering who made it, which I'm sure many will echo. But I must say I loved the cop! His one liners really made the first part zing, and it's been pretty flat since he left. In fact, I'm getting bored and may miss the final humans-come-together confrontation with the demon from another dimension (can you say "It"?) in favor of a Monty Python re-run I've seen a thousand times. Hmmm, maybe I rated it too high.
Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist (2004)
In case someone actually might buy this . . .
I'll just repeat my Amazon review to save you a few dollars.
Okay, for starters if you're a fan of sexploitation sleaze, you just about have to buy a film named like this, don't you? I mean, you know there are going to be some problems just from the box cover, a drawing (from a website advertised in the flick) of a naked young girl in a middle-east like scene carrying a cross with whipmarks on her bum. Uh, okay, but that can't possibly have anything to do with the film, eh? Another problem might be that it supposedly won the "Tales of Woe" film festival, which so far as I can find doesn't exist.
Well, nevermind, like I said, someone has to buy this and review it solely due to the title, even though there's a strong possibility that it could be some student art flick with the title pasted on later . . . which of course it is. In fact the disk doesn't even bother to disguise the fact that the real name of this wreck is "Into Thy Hands". Apparently they couldn't even bother to edit the video to match the box. After some more drawings, with more in the so-called "bonus feature", the embarrassment begins, which is basically an ultra short and ultra cheap semi-slasher flick with no pay offs. The continuity is laughable, like when the bearded killer wastes 30 seconds getting a rope unsnarled while the camera runs.
There is some nudity and some sleaze scenes that might have been half decent if they weren't filmed in slow motion with no sound. Oh, did I forget? There's a sludgy background music track but no actual sound recording at all. R-rated bondage gets practically no respect at all these days, what with it plastered all over usenet and the web, so that nets this mess the minimum one star. For joke collectors only.
Welcome to L.A. (1976)
Easy to criticize, but . . . I love it.
Despite a fabulous cast led by Alan Rudolph regular Keith Carradine, this vacant, flat movie with virtually no plot is easy to classify as a lesser "Nashville" set on the West Coast. I mean, what are the major happenings, Denver Pyle makes Harvey Keitel a partner? Uh . . . that was about it, there's a party.
So, why the heck do I like this so much? I've seen it maybe 30 times, even though it's unavailable on any media, at the moment, at least, and every time I watch it all the way through to the last shot of Carridine looking sideways at the camera. I saw it when it first came out, and it stayed in my mind for decades until it started to show up on the movie channels. I can't explain it, the music is nice (particularly "One Night Stands" and "Welcome to L.A."), but the conversation isn't particularly clever (compare "Choose Me" for example). I can't really defend the film, how could I? There's no message, no plot, no outstanding performances to champion . . . I don't know, I just enjoy watching it. Beats me.
Executive Action (1973)
This holds up very well
I forgot about this movie until I saw it on tape in a cut-out bin. I don't know why it isn't a well-known film, it's very good. The cast is excellent, and the straight-forward tone is unique. There's no judgement provided by the movie makers on the plotters, who are on one hand presented as earnest men doing what they believed to be in the best interest of the country, and on the other as lunatic facists, discussing eliminating "excess population" as if it were an everyday thing.
The purpose of the movie is to educate, it seems, presenting a lot of facts or what are presented to be facts, about Oswald as a patsy. I've read enough to know that not all of what is presented as factual is true (the phone system being cut out in D.C. is a well-known canard, repeated in "JFK"), but the movie uses this approach to lay out a very logical scenario regarding how it could have been done. The political background, and the details of the lapses of the Secret Service are used to good effect.
Finally, there is the presence of JFK himself as a counterpoint throughout the movie. Films of some of his best lines combined with the haunting musical score lend an air of melancholy appropriate to the subject matter, a feeling that is shared by the plotters. There is a quote from Shakespeare given by Robert Ryan that sums it up; ". . . and nothing can we call our own but death . . . let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings." It's one fine moment of many in a well-crafted film.