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King Arthur (2004)
On second thought, let's not go to Camelot, it's a silly place
28 October 2016
If there is any historical truth to the legend of king Arthur, it probably originates a romano-British warlord fighting the Saxons. Then we have to accept the centuries of exaggerations, mixing with other legends, re-writes to fit the times and so on. This is a still living tradition, because we continue to re-purpose and retell the story. Excalibur, for all it's faults, managed to get this point across pretty well. What the filmmakers set out to do here is to try to relocate de- myth the story and try to tell what might have actually happened. To bad they did not do that.

Instead we get an absurd and confused "historical" mess. Very well, at least it's sometimes necessary to salt history for the sake of a good story? Right?

I mean, the cast is great. We have Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård, Hugh Dancy, Ray Winstone, Joel Edgerton, Ray Winstone, Keira Knightley, Til Schweiger and Mad Mads Mikkelsen. What could go wrong? A lot. Sadly, these actor's has to work with a frightfully dull script. Clive Owen only has to stand around and hold speeches. Everybody keeps talking about what a great leader and warrior he is. He has no faults, makes no mistakes. He's just a flat character. Skarsgård walks around sounding like he just woke up and is bored by everything. The character of Cerdic comes off as a stupid evil character. Schweiger just snarls and glares. These villains are generic and duller than carpenter's thumb. As a supposedly historical film, it baffle one that the Saxon land in Scotland, north of Hadrian's Wall. Why? It's far from the closest part of the Saxon homeland and just plain dumb.

An why are the woads/picts/(scotsmen?) fight the heavily armored Saxons wearing leather bras? How is that a sustainable means of protection? Why are the Saxons not shooting back at the heroes when they are fired upon. They do have crossbows.

The cheesy music keeps pumping over the film, and is little more than noise in the background. It sounds like any other Hans Zimmer score. I could not tell which film it was from if I heard it on it's own. Through the cinematography is pretty competently done. And through many of the costumes are pretty unhistorical, they look pretty good for the most part. I liked Ray Winstone, even through gobbled the scenery I enjoyed him. At least he put some personality into his performance.

This is a dull, dull, dull and generic "retelling" of the story. Every other decade there is another Arthur-movie. Let's hope we get a better one. The characters are flat and dull, the story is unimpressive and boring, the music is forgettable and the script is dumb.
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Viking Quest (2015 TV Movie)
Here comes the berserkers!
12 September 2016
Through the vikings probably deserves some of the disgraceful film made about them, we as an audience do not. Well, to be honest, the film only has "viking" in it's name since there are no actual vikings in the film. Somewhere in (I assume) 8th century Scandinavia, two warring clans plan to unite through the marriage of the princess Tasya and the king Wolven. Tasya childhood friend Erick "the blessed" has the hots for Tasya, a feeling that is sort of answered, but not enough for Tasya to abandon her promised to be. Unfortunately, the dastardly Völsungs (no relation the mythological clan, but nice touch) frequently carries out sacrifices of princesses to the Midgard Serpent, Loki's dragon-seed. Since king Sigvat of the Völsungs has no children his soldiers nabs the princess in the process. Now it's up to Erick and Wolven to set their differences aside and rescue the princess.

It's the standard story. Nothing special, but can be a fun adventure for a Friday evening. To bad the film is so badly made. The fight scenes are under all standards for a film even of this budget. The editing does not even try to hide the baffling feeble choreography. Seeing that this is a low budget romp, some special effect failures are to be expected, but this film does not even try to work around that. We have a storm that is obviously shot in a studio. Guys, could you not even had intern splashing water with buckets? It's the driest storm ever! A little extra effort could have pushed it to an at least acceptable level. Is a little more effort to much to ask. Now, the acting is really uneven. But in the case of the leads I do blame it on the director and not the actors. Harry Lister Smith and Jenny Boyd are pretty convincing as childhood friends with a scent of romance. You can see that they do have some acting chops, they are just in a bad movie. Same goes for Oliver Walker as Wolven. Anya Taylor-Joy was in the sensation that was The Witch, but I have not seen that yet. But she is not very good in this film.

As stated above, the script is pretty standard, through there is a minor twist which is neat in it's own little way. Then the scenery is really nice. Mostly, the costumes seem to be roughly accurate. Most of the clothes, armors and helmets are pretty authentic to what I've seen in museums and books. That's not to say that this film is historically accurate. A high medieval castle is dropped in the middle of Scandinavia in the freaking 7th century and is painfully out of sync with the rest of the iconography of the film. Then, they have a male character called Hild. Talk about not doing the research...

If you are looking for a so bad that it's good viking film, Viking Quest is what you look for. Through not good at all, it's never boring. Like Troll 2 or Death Academy or any Ed Wood film, it's a charming bad movie. So grab your cowhorns, pass the mead and have a laugh.
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Malony is Balony
29 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It comes a time to take a stand. Not just for me, but for all of cinema. Malony is a horrible, cynical, opportunistic and dull affair. Malony is a trouble child an early age. At 16, he is shopped around different foster homes. His mother is in her 40's but played by a 28 year old actress, who looks like she is Malony's cougar girlfriend. Malony is failing school and sentenced to a youth camp after committing grand theft auto. His judge and his counselor does not want to give up on Malony and tries their best to get him some kind of education and possibility in life. Malony has skipped so much school that he will not be able to finish seventh grade - having already spent two years in every grade.

It's kind of hard to get a grip of the plot because it is more a series events than a story. Malony is a impatient, violent and completely unlikable character. Why people still wants to help him is beyond me. He is given tons of chances by the authorities and ends up messing them up every time. He flirts with a counselor's daughter and they end up in bed. But Malony ends up raping the girl. And for some reason, she falls in love with him. WHAT? The fact that so few critics have been bothered by this, deeply disturbs me.

A counselor get's Malony a job, but Malony just goes around and sneers and leers at the customers. He ends up kicking a table at a pregnant woman for no reason.

The acting from the lead actor is horrible. He overacts for president and country. Catherine Deneuve sleeps through her performance. I can honestly not remember anything about the other character's personality, except for the caricature that is the mother.

The message of the film is simple. Poor and stupid people should not reproduce, lest they will produce and even more hopeless generation. It's like a propaganda film by Dr Goebbles, mistaken by critics as a social awareness flick.
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I have watched into the void and it's filled with lice.
16 May 2016
I have watched into the void and it's filled with lice. The Third Part of the Night has been described as many things, but HORROR is the one word that makes justice to it. The one thing mostly remotely like it are the Silent Hills games and Come and See. At first I could not tell that the film was set in WWII, but when it became apparent to me, the riddle of the film also became apparent. Most of the film is actually a rather straightforward film, but the way the events are realized it becomes a surreal vision of the end of the world. I have trouble describing it other than a disturbing nightmare about the end of time. A furious debut of a filmmaker, possessed by the Gods of film, who summon a town beyond space, time and hope.
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La cage aux zombies (1995 Video)
Like John Waters directed Zombie 2
3 April 2016
Like John Waters directed Zombie 2. Pierrot le fou remade by David Lynch as a april's fools days prank. Trash Humpers meets Burial Nights: Night of Terror. Does this seem interesting? Then this perhaps is a film for you. This is really hard film to review, since it's not supposed to be good. Now that is not an excuse someone can use to get out of jail card, but in this film it comes off like a surreal and really off-beat hodgepodge of voodoo, magic, transvestites and gangsters. Yeah, like John Waters directed Zombie 2. The acting is either wooden or over the top, and it it works for the context of the film. The music sounds a lot like the score of a 70's Italian zombieflick.

At times the film is really funny. There is a really clever visual gag at the start that spoof Carrie and made me laugh out loud. But most of the time it's plain weird. It's not good, but I can't accuse it of being boring.

Another WTF-film from the bowels of the internet.
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To the Wonder (2012)
To the Wonder, but never getting there
15 January 2016
There is a amazing film in here, somewhere. I love the music choices, the actors and the cinematography. There are some really interesting scenes in here. But the film falls on Malick's usual traps. The Thin Red Line was saved for me when we actually got to know the characters a bit better. But the fault of Malick is his love for voice over and character's running around in pretty pictures. In the scenes where the characters actually gets to act against one another are great. And do not think Malick should have thrown all voice over and all silent moments. They are especially effective in the first part of the film when Olga Kurylenko & Ben Affleck fall in love. But it simply gets tedious when that's the entire film. There are scenes like when Affleck throws Kurylenko out of a car which could have been amazing, but because the way the film is made it loses a bit of it's impact. The scene where Javier Bardem talks to the janitor in the church was amazing and it became even more apparent that Malick really can direct actors in the scene with the friend played by Romina Mondello. If only Terrence Malick did not edit all these moments away, his films would be much better.
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Blinded by the Light
9 October 2015
After making countless shorts, Henrik Möller has finally made a his first feature length film. It's both similar and different from his earlier work. It has all the stamps of Möller's earlier films, but they are more polished and developed than before. With the exception of "Inviting the Demon", the films of Möller and his various collaborators have had an extremely rough and raw quality. He has worked with both surrealism and social realism and absurd characters and situations. All of that is present in this film. It all plays out like a sort of mix of all of Möller's previous work. The film is in black and white, with a few tints and splats of color. Some would compare it to Sin City, but to me it seemed more like a silent film that had been colorized by hand. The soundtrack drones with creepy synth music by Testbild and a horrific soundscape by an entire company of different sound designers. A quartet of cleaners that seem to be a mix between the losers from Malmö = Råttkådd and the psychopaths from Möller's animated films like Spritfesten, lumbers around the hallways. They are cleaning up excess dust that draw in "pests"; eldritch shadow people. Lina Sundén's Sara stalks around the halls of the mysterious facility in search for her missing daughter whom she lost in a custody battle with her husband (Patrik Karlson). She finds her ex-husband aged several years and a broken man. He wanted to make a documentary about a mysterious light in his workplace, ending up losing both another worker and his daughter. He and the mysterious janitor (Martin Jirhamn) offers her help to get her back. The facility is filled with odd and deranged people. The boss (Jenny Lampa) keeps a naked man as a pet, a man is seen moaning with a towel on his head and an angry cleaner (Möller himself) rants about Sara having to protect her eyes.

What sets it really apart from Henrik Möller's earlier films is the acting and characters. Not that that has been bad in the earlier films, but they were certainly more of people playing exaggerated version of them self and not really challenging parts. This time around, the four main characters, played by Sundén, Jirhamn, Lampa & Karlson, are well rounded characters with more dept too them than any Möller has done before. He and Jirhamn has really done a fantastic work on the characters which, even through I seriously doubted their humanity, seem very human. I must really laud the acting of Lina Sundén and Jenny Lampa who perfectly nailed their parts. Sundén vulnerability and courage contrasted against Lampa's menacing eyes where a perfect contrast. Considering all the horror films Jenny Lampa has been involved in, is she Sweden's first real Scream Queen? I would say so! But I must also say I was blown away by Martin Jirhamn. I've seen him in several of Möller's other films. Unlike the other actors playing main characters, he is an amateur, but he came of as really believable as the morally ambiguous janitor. It was not an easy part, but Jirhamn did it so well I have a hard time imagining another actor in the part. More is implied than shown, but we don't need more. It's all about Sara's search for her child and all it brings about. The tempo is rapid not a single shot wasted. Certainly one of the best Swedish films in the last decade and a must see for lovers of HP Lovecraft and the Silent Hill games.
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Cannibal Fog (2014)
Sex taste better than God
12 April 2015
Well... Jonas Wolcher made another movie. His first outside the "Zombiejäger-verse". And how is it? It's different alright. Jonas Wolcer has returned to the style of his shortfilm "Zombienoid". The "jittercam" and "Micheal Bay-on-PCP-editing" is absent for the most part. The film is more slow paced, like "Zombienoid". There is the occasional random nudity and fornication (where does he get the people for those moments?), sloppy editing, regular Vargman Bjärsbo, bad use of music, b-movie effects, a deep-voiced dark magician with a skull-face (here a rip-off of Papa Emeritus II, not a fan but still) and the usual synth score.

This film is much more experimental than Wolcher's other works and follows a porn- and sex-addicted (through sex addiction is not real thing per see) catholic named Micheal who gets a new addiction: the addiction to human meat. Micheal hooks up with a woman named Lotta in a porn-esque scenario but can't stand his rising hunger. Micheal was having pasta in a cheap joint when a assassin shot a man and his blood splatted onto the pasta (Micheal does not notice a murder happening right beside him). It ends him Micheal starting to eat folks.

What to say about the script and acting? The actors are really, really stiff. Linus Karlgren as Micheal is dull dishwear. Ida Karolin Johansson who plays Lotta is only there to look sexy and be a body for Micheal to penetrate. Malte Aronsson plays Albin and is not much better. Dull and unconvincing. There are no good actors in this film to put it simply. Lars Lundgren in a small cameo is OK. To say he is the best actor in the film does not really hold up. The script is just as bad. The cinematography does not hold up for 5 cents. The film drags and drag. The pacing is... No there is no pacing. The film is 30 minutes to long and there are a ton of useless scenes or scenes that could have been cut down. Wolcher really needs to study how to build a scene, because he has no idea how to do it.

And there is apparently a real cannibal at the end of the film. Classy.

Now you might be inclined to wonder why I am knowledgeable enough to compare Wolcher's different movies. Am I an acquaintance to Wolcher. The answer is no. The closest thing I've come to any contact is some replies on forums. I am loosely acquainted with a friend(?) of him and said friend(?) did not have many nice things to say about him. But I digress. What I am is one of the few experts on Swedish horror (I can only think of two other people). There is a lot of s**t when it comes to Swedish horror but there is a lot more good stuff than most people give it credit for. I do have education as a filmschoolar and worked as a critic and I've made and am still making movies and I've made it my dubious area of expertise to map this part of Swedish film history. Why? Because there are gems that need to be put more up front and even if there is mostly mediocre and really bad films in this particular category, they at least tried. Unlike most of the people that complains. Wolcher, you are the worst director in Swedish history, but don't stop making films!
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Cirkeln (2015)
Have we saved the world now?
19 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
After several years of development hell "The Circle" has finally hit Swedish theaters. So, as soon as Moviezine posted their negative review people where starting to talk about how it was destined to suck because it was a Swedish film. Swedes can't make movies. Well, I know that is a load of ****. I have seen a load of great Swedish films in all genres. And guess what? This is one of them.

The plot is kind of a mix between F**king Åmol (which I honestly never liked), Sailor Moon (which I love), Paralax (plesant childhood memories) with a dash of Harry Potter (great books, botched film series). Orginiality for it's own sake is overrated, look at Ruben Östlund who kind of original but really can't make films. For me, it all comes down how well crafted a film is. If it is done well, I don't really care.

My principle for reviewing is that you should judge a film based on what is does, not what it did not do. So what did "The Circle" do? What did it right? What did it wrong. Let's start with the bad things. First things first the casting of a few characters. Asp and Vögeli where miscast I think. The film fell victim to the common trap of YA-films and cast two bland hunks that you could not tell apart. Marcus Vögeli as Erik did not work at all. He was not good in the part and felt to much like someone acting. Also, he and Vincent Grahl who played Gustaf looked to much alike and I got them confused at times. Hanna Asp as Ida felt very unnatural, but that could be how she was directed to behave. Anyway, it did not feel right. Also, the writing of the villain and the casting of said villain did not work. It was really obvious who was the bad guy. The red herring character got to few lines and to little screen time. It seemed the character was in the film to little to be a real suspect.

Another part that bugged me was the exposition. In a film like this, the exposition is a real mine-ground. Exposition of this kind need to be presented in words and that can not happen through images alone, which works against film as a visual medium. Here, it came off somewhat mechanic and even chaotic at times. Adriana Lopez became nothing more than Miss Exposition, which is never good. Other than that, some parts of the story feel really flat and could have been taken out completely such as Linnea's gun. Some dialog did not tick right with me and there is that really obvious cameraman reflection.

Then what did "The Circle" do right? Well, the casting of the other 6 "chosen ones", save Ida was great. Gustav Lindh is in the film for 5 minutes as Elias and he did a terrific job (got to love that he got Yu-Gi-Oh cards in his locker). Josefin Asplund as Rebecka was good, even if the character was underwritten and like Gustaf had to little time on screen. Helena Engström as Anna-Karin impressed me a lot. She got some hate for not looking "fat enough". Can you believe that. Anyway, those people will be silent when they see her performance. Leona Axelsen as Linnea and Miranda Frydman as Vanessa really sells it and Irma von Platen is a fantastic Minoo, even if she sometimes, I don't know... Sound strangely adult when she says her lines? The problems with the characters stems more from the script than the actors who are nearly flawless. I will be open with the fact that I do not like Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs as an actor at all. He was terrible in both Sebbe and Broken Hill Blues and came of as mentally challenged in the later. That works well for his character in this film on the other hand and he is simply better directed and allowed to behave like a real person. And that is what I like about this film, (most) of the characters seem like real teenagers. I can count on my left hand the number of Swedish films the last 15 years where the teenagers seemed like real teens. I enjoyed Christopher Wagelin's Nicke a lot. He was pitch perfect in the part. Per Svensson, Jimmy Lindström and Natalie Minnevik shows up in the film as well but are little more than extras really.

The cinematography was superb. There is a lot of riffs on the cinematography from David Fincher's films. However, it seemed the crew had run out of visual imagination towards the end. The special effects worked very well most of the time. There are a few that looks rather ugly, but most of the stuff is handled really competent, which is to expect from Kaj Steveman. The film is very well directed by Akin who relies on images to present the characters rather than dialog. I wish more people would do that.

I was going to give this film 7/10, but what the heck! It's a well shot, well acted and well directed film. I give it 8/10. Catch it at the cinema as soon as you can. I am looking forward to the continuation.
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Remake (II) (2014)
Best Swedish Film of the Decade
4 September 2014
I must be honest with this one. This is the best Swedish film of the decade. Other critics and my old peers at film studies will not agree with me and mention You, the Living (which is awesome), Let the Right One In (slightly overrated) or something like Sebbe (crap). But Remake is a masterpiece. While Ruben Östlund films peoples feet and complains that people do not watch his movies, Öhman and Gavatin creates a gut-punch of a movie.

Remake is a found footage movie without the horror. At times there are moments when the illusion is broken and it seems like the characters has adjusted the camera just to get a better shot or make a better edit. That's the only fault I can find with the film actually. The film is presented through Lisa's point of view. She is obsessed with documenting everything she does with a camera, even fights with boyfriends and sexual acts. It's as if she wants to record everything about life to be able to revisit those emotion like one would with a movie. She is returning to New York with her new boyfriend Martin, but when friction in their relationship turns up, she meets and starts to see the American Lucas (who talks like the Joker).

Really, I don't want to talk to much about the movie because I don't want to give away anything. I can just tell you to go see the movie as soon as possible. The acting performances of Henni, Hazlett and Wallström are the strongest I've seen in a Swedish film in years. What are you waiting for? Go see it now!
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I love this movie!
27 October 2013
Terror In Rock 'n' Roll Önsjön is Swedens first feature length zombie flick and I love it! In the 1940's, some Nazis try to create a super-soldier but end up creating zombies. They decide to hide the secret chemical in a Swedish lake but ends up in a firefight with Swedsih soldiers which ends with the death of the Swedes and the only surviving Nazi drowning while exposed to the chemical. In the 1970's, a bunch of teens decide to have a party at the very lake very the chemical was dumped. The rock music awakens the drowned Nazi who has become a zombie and the predictable mayhem ensues. In the middle of this is a sweet romance between a brat-girl and a raggare.

The film has a rich gallery of characters. Most of them, and most importantly the leads, are well played by the actors, most of which are complete newcomers. The film is filled with references to 1970's and 1980's films: the Nazi plot is a homage to the original Nazi-zombie flick Shock Waves. The script is not a masterpiece but it's pretty well written. The film's budget is low and it shows, but there has but there has also been a lot of effort put into this film and it shows as well! The film is funny charming and very entertaining. Warmly recommended!
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8 September 2013
A hilarious documentary short made for the DVD-release of the film Blodspår/Bloodtracks/Heavy Metal. We meet two members of easy action who tells us about the making of the film. One seems embarrassed over the whole deal while the other is very enthusiastic. We get to know that the actors where severed beer and performed drunk, how the band got involved with the production and stuff like that. The reactions of one of the band members while the other brags about his experiences on the film is simply hilarious.

At the end they thank Hard Rock Café for being able to shot the short there or else they would have to shot
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Hundhotellet (2000)
3 September 2013
This film truly is a underrated masterpiece. Here Åhlin has created a wonderful little mystery movie for all ages. This not a kids film. Kids can watch it but it's aimed at adults as much as it is for children. Sadly, animation is considered a children's medium in the west and I see no reason for it to be so. But that does not mean children won't be able to enjoy this film.

The story is simple, yet very mysterious. Sture (and the audience) has no idea what is going on. It's basically a surreal comedy. It is funny as hell. The animation is cozy, the acting is fantastic and the script is great. No less than a masterpiece and a must see.

And you got to love the fact that a film that was marketed to children takes influence from and references Kubrick's The Shining and Polanski's The Tenant.
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Vittra (2012)
Unoriginal but furiously entertaining
9 August 2013
There is certainly both pros and cons about this film. First and first there are really some problems with the script. It's very unoriginal; it's Evil Dead in Swedish. It tries to do little new with the concept and shares it's basic premise with a dozen other horror films. The one original thing about it is that the villain is a Vittra, a creature from Swedish folklore also known as "vätte", that turns it's victims into zombies that it uses to kill and maim any person who intrudes on it's domain. There is also a old man who warns the protagonists and tells them about the monsters.

Another weird thing about the film is that the filmmakers seems to don't know how to film and direct a normal dialog scene. The film also has a scene where a character says "I feel so f**king bad", when there is not a single person around. Who is she talking to? The audience? You are bleeding from every cavity, it's not like we get it.

Then there are the pros. And boy the pros are good! In the first part of the film the acting is off, but once the real drama starts and the Wither attacks the acting gets really good (The film also has the advantage of having killed off the bad actors by then). Lisa Henni is the one that stands out the most, but Saxe, Almkvist and Wallmo are really, really good too. They have to work with big and difficult emotions like fear, sorrow and brutality and does it amazingly. I really like a brief scene at the end where one of the characters is almost unable to fight any more after the loss of so many loved ones. That is really the theme of the film. Lot's of characters loose their close and loved ones. Johnnes Brost is in the film for about 10 minutes but those are ten minutes you will remember. Especially when he draws his knife.

The effects are really good, with a few exceptions that fortunately does not take the edge of the film. The film is really, really violent. Heads are mashed with rocks, there is a really messy decapitation and early on a really disgusting scene where a lip is torn off. The wonderful sound design is the best I've ever heard in a Swedish film. The last part of the film is a real furious roller coaster and the last 15 minutes will have be sitting on the edge of your seat. The film goes on a bit to long but that is sort of nitpicking. Some character does some stupid things but when you think about it, they kind of makes sense from an emotional stand point.

In the end, Vittra/Wither is a real thrill ride that demands to be seen in a cinema with a good surround-system. You need Vittra. You need to see it in a cinema and be swept away by it.

I hope there will be a Vittra 2.
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What is real?
28 November 2012
I had the pleasure of seeing this film at German Films Go North in Stockholm 2011 in 35 mm.

Some of the scares in the film are pretty tame, some clishé, some effective. The effects are not much to hang in a Christmas tree and the ghost looks terrible. The two things that make this film worthwhile is 1; the screenplay and 2: Jennifer Ulrich. Jennifer Ulrich is freaking amazing in this film and after seeing this film, Die Welle and Wir Sind Die Nacht she is now my favorite actress. She give everything to her role and it pays of. She is the force that keeps the film going.

That said I must comment on the other actors. Tino Mewes was OK, not the greatest actor around and his part was not too interesting but he was not bad in any way. Daniel Roesner was pretty terrible, it does not help that he looks and behaves like a douche. Marleen Lohse was just annoying. I found Inez Bjørg David as being pretty good and André Hennicke extraordinary sympathetic as the cop Urban. Julia Dietze of Iron Sky plays the ghost but is only in the movie for a limited amount of time in the film when she is not a special effect but she is almost as good as Jennifer Ulrich in her few scenes.

The script is pretty clever and sets up twists and turns but makes sure to set them up and that they perfect sense when we come closer to the end of the film. The ending is amazing

I don't know if this film will ever come to Sweden again but I will sure watch it in cinema again and buy the DVD.
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"Your bird can't sing anymore"
2 October 2012
Dennis Gansel has become one of my favorite directors, giving us multi layered masterpieces like Die Welle(The Wave) and Wir Sind Die Nach(We are the Night). Die Vierte Macht or The Fourth State disappoints a bit, but is far from a bad film.

Paul(Moritz Bleibtreu) gets a job on a Russian paper where his late father worked. The two where not on the best of terms by the time of his death. Paul and the young photographer Dima(Max Riemelt) goes around and attends shallow parities in the obliviously globalised Moscow(in a interesting wink to the club-scene in Wir sind die nacht). Paul soon meets with the radical reporter Katja(Kasia Smutniak) and the two soon fall in love. Dima warns Paul not to have longer relationships with Russian women(strange as he is Russian himself...), and soon Paul is framed for a terror bombing.

The acting and writing was pretty good. The relationship between Paul and Katja feel genuine, an improvement over the not so well fleshed out relationship in Wir Sind Die Nacht. On the other hand the acting and writing is not as good as in Die Welle and Wir Sind Die Nacht, Gansel has a lot of good ideas going on but I think he needs a co-writer who can help him write. That said some of the characters are really well fleshed out.

Mark Ivanir(who looks like he is Peter Stormare's brother) as Alsan, a Chechen terrorist, steals the show completely and is by far the most interesting character. Rade Serbedzija also gets some interesting stuff to say at the end.

The cinematography is a bit bland and seems to have been color corrected a bit to much but the music is pretty good. There is some interesting visuals like the contrast between the modern, globalised club and the small, traditional Russian bar.

The story seems very realistic, it is much like all the news we get from Russia these days. The plot seems all to plausible.

In the end, I think people should see Die Vierte Macht if they get the chance but Gansel can do better than this.
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The Girls (1968)
Plot? What plot?
19 September 2012
Watching "The Girls" at film school it struck me how confused and disorganized this film is. There is nothing wrong with confusing the audience, something Davind Lynch has showed us over and over again, but in combination with this film lacking plot, the characters being 2 dimensional and lacking any sort of characteristics and the all out confused nature of the "narrative" this film comes of as little less than a drug fueled, surreal mess.

Which is fine if the film is interesting. This film is not interesting. I have heard a lot of people calling it feminist. Maybe people call it that because the main characters are female and the director/writer is a woman. Well feminism is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men". In this aspect the film is not feminist as the women say they won't to break free, but in reality are quite dependent on the men. At the end one of the actresses say she wants a divorce but this does not come off as she does it to liberate herself and be equal to the men.
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Syner (2009 Video)
Swedish Terror at it's all time high
29 April 2012
As far as scares go this films is above all other Swedish films. I have never seen a Swedish film or few other films at all that has even touched upon the levels of terror this film delivers.

The first story is by far the best of the three and the scariest. It tells the tale of a woman trapped in her apartment as strange zombie-like beings roam outside. This segment is just perfect. It's hard to comment on because it does everything right. 10/10

The second segment is a step down. While the acting, cinematography, sound and scares are all the right the story and theme is much lifted from Silent Hill 2. It's pretty close to plagiarism. Very good plagiarism. This makes me lower the grade. 7/10

The third story is not good at all. Not as scary or as thought provoking. 3/10

But in all the film is well worth the watch. Anyone doubting a Swedish film can be scary should see this film. And anyone else for that matter. This is good.
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Angel's Egg (1985)
Oh my god this is the greatest movie I ever seen in my life!
22 March 2012
There is this movie, called Tenshi no Tamago which translates to Angel's Egg, and if End of Evangelion is the 2001: A Space Odessy of animé then Angel's Egg is the Eraserhead. There is a lot of symbolism that can and has been interprented in a lot of very interesting way, yet the simplistic core of the story is enough. The story is about a little Girl who lives alone in this scary, Gothic and beautiful city. It seems then end of the world has happened and the girl is living in the ruins of a long dead world. The Girl is tending over a large egg. A Man with a scarred hand and caring a cross-like weapon comes along and offers the Girl is protection.

The visuals are haunting and the score leaves you stunned. The ending is a very ambiguous one and I would love to have a long conversation about what it means.

The Man's identity is the most lurid part of the film; is he Christ or a deceiver?

Any person with the slightest interest in animé must see this film. Any cineast must see it to be able the call himself a cineast.

This is with little doubt one of the best films ever made.
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The Joker Blogs (2008–2017)
The Joker is far from defeated...
20 March 2012
At the end of "The Dark Knigt" Batman managed to prove that The Joker was wrong and that deep inside humans are good. The Joker was imprisoned and his reign of terror was over. Or was it? The Joker Blogs follows in a disturbingly real "found-footage" style The Joker's life after The Dark Knight. Undoubtly insane he is thrown into Arkham Asalym. But the Joker continues his schemes of terror by slowly breaking down the young and soon to be married Harleen Quinzel bit by bit and he develops a morbid obsession of her. At the same time Quinzel gets more and more attached to The Joker.

While The Dark Knight's Joker pretty humorless, Scott McClure brings back some of the humor to the character making him even more unpredictable and scary. The series balances humor and horror until the line is completely gone.

I am actually utterly speechless about how awesome this series is. I can't find the right words to describe it...

You can't really compare this to any other fan-series ever made. This is bold, brilliant, terrifying, magnetic, hilarious, monstrous. The acting and directing is spot on. You truly believe this is real footage of the Joker leaked on the Internet.

Any Batman fan has to see it. No, every one has to see it.
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Shake the camera! Shake it baby!
16 January 2012
If you like your movies with boring action scenes, undeveloped and uninteresting characters, a story that could have been applied to action-hero from Arnold to Stallone to Craig to Damon and a musical score with no personality what so ever then Hamilton is the film for you.

The movie opens grandly with an EXTREME closeup on Persbrandts nose. Persbrandt plays Hamilton just like he plays his famous Gunvald-character in Beck, only that this time he is more restrained. His "acting" is holding the same emotion through the entire film and hardly ever showing any emotions at all.

The only interesting part of the movie goes nowhere. It involves Hamilton having a traumatic experience with his girlfriend and was more interesting than the stock-plot of the film.

The villain was just your stock action villain with no personality at all. Actually, nobody in this film had a personality.

The photography was terrible, the camera was shaking like the tail of a rattlesnake in every shot and I never could tell what was going on.

Just plain bad.
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10 November 2011
Ruben Östlund must be one of the most self important directors working in Sweden today. He is angry on Hollywood for making films people are entertained by. He wonders why his film don't speak to as many people as films about cowboys and aliens when his films are about everyday life. The answer is quite simple. Most people goes to the cinema to be entertained and Ruben Östlund's film douse not entertain. Entertainment can be achieved by many emotions, happiness, horror, sadness, thrills, chills and joy. The one emotion a director is never allowed to evoke in his audience is boredom. To bore an audience is the worst crime an entertainer can commit and Östlund commits this crime.

The scenes in this film is made up mostly of single shots showing scenes in the life of a teacher, two teenyboppers, an old man, a group of drunks and a bus party. All of them fall victim to the mechanisms of the group. This would have been interesting concept but Ruben Östlund's own pretentious ideas comes in the way. Like his moronic camera angels.

The camera angels are often filming really strange stuff like peoples feet or a car door. I hate to be the first to bring this up to you Östlund, but you are not Roy Andersson.

The psychology of a group is an interesting subject, but you can't make a movie with just that. You need context. Come up with a story to use as backdrop to your theme. The first two X-Men movies did a great job with this.

There is no plot nor character development. A film can make up for this in by brining up other stuff, like an interesting story but this is not the case of this film. Ruben Östlund summarizes the worst kind of filmmakers alive; those who don't care for their audience. Others like him are Micheal Bay, Uwe Boll and Kristian Petri to name a few.

Avoid this guy, because he deserves not attention,
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Mamma Mia! (2008)
Sweden created a monster known as Abba
17 October 2011
Sweden created a monster known as Abba, and this is the offspring. Dear Lord this film is bad.

I am Swedish so Abba has tormented me from birth. The only good Abba-related thing I've ever heard is the punk-rock cover of Gimme, Gimme, Gimmie by Leather Nun. The singing is OK. I don't like Abba, so the music douse not speak to me. The story is kind of dumb, a simple DNA test would have saved so much time, but our moron female lead is more retarded than Dee-Dee. Yes, I call Amanda Seyfried the lead because Strepp serves no real purpose to the plot other than complain about three guys she had one-night-stands with 20 years ago.

Pierce Brosnan seems to have fallen on hard times. Just a few years before this film he was sleeping with Halle Berry. Now he tries to get into Marilyn Streep's pants. Dude, she is like 75 and you are 50! The acting is dull, so dull that it makes dullness itself seem sharp.

And Stellan Skargård's ass. Did we really have to see his ass?! Avoid like the plague.
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15 October 2011
So despite having one of the worst trailers this year, topped only by the Breaking Dawn trailer I watched The Three Musketeers. It was must better than i thought it would be, yet that douse not say much. Constantin Films, a German company, are the people behind it. It's funded with German tax-money, much like how our Swedish tax-money are spent to finance crap by Lars Von Trier. At least Germans got jobs out of this film, but I believe that the money should be spent on a sequel to Wir Sind Die Nacht by Dennis Ganel rather than this.

Logan Lerman is bland and so Luke Evans and Matthew Macfadyen. Not much of an impression. I liked Christoph Waltz and Ray Stevenson who did a very good job with the material. Milla Jovovich walks around acting all sexy. It seems Paul W.S. Anderson is screaming: LOOK HOW HOT MY WIFE IS!!! At least Tim Burton tries to give Helena Bonham Carter something to work with. Gabriella Wilde and Orlando Bloom are terrible. I have never seen worse acting from Orlando Bloom ever in a film. Razzie Award here you come! Mads Mikkelsen has nothing to do for most of the film and it seems they tried as hard as they could to make him appear like One-Eye in Valhalla Rising so he would seem more dangerous. It did not work.

Oh, I almost forgot! Seemingly one the German producers insistence Til Schweiger is in this too. For a whole minute!

The action scenes where alright. Nothing special. The plot was ordinary. Nothing special. Faithful to the book? Sort of... I have seen worse, but I have also seen better.

The opening prologue could been cut. It would actually have made the movie deeper and the characters more interesting. Actuall character development. What about that?
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The Wave (2008)
Spellbinding. Terrifying. And worst of all: It could happen
21 September 2011
Last time I watched "Die Welle" was in English class in 8th grade. I thought it was a good German movie. We swedes don't get to see German movies that often. We are quite invaded by Hollywood and preoccupied with our own (mostly) dull and pretentious film industry. Today I gave "Die Welle" a re-watch, mostly because I liked Dennis Gansels entertaining vampire film "Wir sind die Nacht" and remembered this fine film.

Watching it I felt an uneasy feeling of recognizing. Not because I remembered the film, but because how real the film seemed to me. Wenger reminded me of my own gym/English teacher in (the Swedish equivalent of) High School. He even got a similar tattoo. The scene when the class talk behind Karo's back reminded me of something that happened this very week. Also, Germany and the German-youth seem much more like Sweden than we are made to believe. The class seems almost to much like the classes I've been in.

Jürgen Vogel delivers a very strong performance, but he's not alone being great. The acting in this film is superb. I can't notice a bad performance anywhere. I have the idea that good acting shines through languages and this film is just further proof of my theory.

"Die Welle" works partly so good because it's in Germany, the land where Nazis ruled. The students seem to be feed up about being constantly told that Nazism is a bad thing. Most of them agree that fascism could not happen again. At least not in Germany. Wenger proves them dead wrong and Gansel shows the audience how fascism works and how people get involved in it and why. He douse not shy away from the positive side which is really bald. He also shows why fascism is wrong rather than just preaching it. The events of the film seem far to realistic and you truly feel that this could happen anywhere.

If anything else this films shows the need of teaching WHY fascism is wrong rather than just saying it's wrong. People need to understand why, or else a charismatic leader just have to make his move and then evil will raise again. Food for thought. Very recommended.
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