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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A very important little gem, 7 March 2006

It seems like Hollywood has put an end to the wave of all the pompous war-movies, who flushed over us in the 2001-2003 period. This means that it is, once again, more room for movie-makers who wants to bring something with more relevance and meaning, to this genre. More room for people like Bahman Ghobadi and films like his "Lakposhtha hâm Parvaz Mikonand".

The film takes place at a refugee-camp at the border between Iraq and Turkey, during the latest war between U.S.A and Iraq, a few weeks before the invasion of the American forces. We follow a huge group of children, most of them who have lost their parents. Children who are just trying to survive, make a living and search for hope in the difficult every-days of war. One of the most central characters we meet is a young boy named Sorano, who mostly goes under the nickname "Satellite", because he is the only one at the camp who knows how to install TV-satellites. He is the leader among the children, and tries to help everyone survive. One day a girl named Agrin arrives at the camp, together with her brother (who has lost both of his arms, due to land-mines) and a little baby. During the first days, Sorano and the other children does not want much to do with the young family, who seems to be a bit strange. But after a while, Sorano wants to help them too...especially after he finds out that Agrin's brother is a clairvoyant.

The war-movies I have seen so far, has never told me much about children and what THEY experience during war. But that's exactly what "Lakposhtha hâm..." is all about, and also why I think it is one of the most important new films I've seen in a very long time. This film is telling us something that has to be told, and something that everybody should pay some of their attention to. The fact that it is set to a war that's, currently still going on, makes it even more relevant for today's viewers.

Considering the subject, "Lakposhtha hâm..." could never be a easy film to make...but Bahman Ghobadi has done an excellent job. The story is being told in a good, humanly and very authentic way. It has some brutal and uncomfortable moments, but also funny and moving moments...I think this is reflecting the childish and innocent side of the film, and is helping it becoming an even more thought-provoking experience. Having children in the leading parts of a film, is always risky and challenging. All of the central actors in "Lakposhtha hâm..." are children, but it works brilliantly. This shows that Ghobadi is a skillful director, but it also shows the talent of the child-actors.

Over all, I think "Lakposhtha hâm Parvaz Mikonand" was a very good and well-made film, without any notable flaws. But I have to say that I had mixed feelings about the way the film ended. At the same time though, I figure that it just may be symbolism by Bahman Ghobadi...a conclusion which says that war is actually just a long, empty and meaningless state, filled with fear, mourning and distant hope. But no matter how one interprets it, it's still a film I don't think people should miss out on. Give it a shot, because it just might be one of the most important films you'll ever have a chance to see.

9.0 out of 10

Amélie (2001)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
An inspiring and uplifting work of art, 8 December 2005

Some films takes you into another world. It doesn't have to be a fantasy world, but a part of our own world that we never knew existed. Trough beautiful pictures and unforgettable details, some films can do more than tell a story and entertain us. They can inspire us, touch our hearts and minds, and make us look at many things in life, in a different way. "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain" is definitely one of those films.

When she was a little girl she never played with the other kids. She didn't go to school, so her nevrotic mother was her private teacher. Her father was a doctor and he barely touched her or had any social contact with her. She was still a little girl when her mother was killed, and so she was stuck with her father. In the meanwhile, she couldn't wait until the she got older, so she could move out. As a grown lady, she likes to help others and make everybody happy. This is her life in a world full of admiring details. Welcome to Amélie's world.

I can understand why "...Amélie..." is currently #29 on the Top 250 list. It's nearly impossible not to fall in love with this film. One can argue whether it's better than classic masterpieces like "Reservoir Dogs" (1992) and "Taxi Driver" (1978) that's currently behind it on the list. Personally, I don't think so...but it's still a great film...well-made, artistic, and one of the most charming films I've ever seen.

"...Amélie..." grabs you from the first second of the film with a very interesting way of story-telling. The film is exciting and experimental at many aspects, and it won't take long for you to discover the director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's love for details. The style of the film is very modern, compared to today's film-making...however, I still feel that it has originality, and that's not just because it's a none-American film. Through out the film, you'll be embraced by a mood that's making it such a joy to watch, and I don't think anybody who likes to watch good movies (even if they have to read subtitles) should have a problem by getting involved with the film and it's story. The score is also a part of the experience. Except for the fact that the people in the film is speaking the French language, Yann Tiersen's score is the part that's creating the strongest European feeling. Excellent music that fits the film perfect.

This film is all about the main-character Amélie. In other's all about Audrey Tautou, who plays that character. A very cute girl with the most beautiful, big black eyes I've ever seen. I have to say that I fell in love with her myself. I mean, how is it possible to not like this charming lady, who wishes everybody nothing but luck and happiness? I've never seen or heard about this actress before this movie, but it's like this role was made for her. I know Tautou has played in some Hollywood-movies lately, but I don't care how many films I may see her me she'll always be Amélie Poulain. The other actors is also doing good jobs in their roles as the other characters in Amélie's world, with nobody really outshining each other.

"Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain" is a film that'll make you laugh, but it has so much more to offer than your average comedy. It's so charming, inspiring and uplifting. When I think about it, it's not a flawless "top rated" masterpiece, but it's just something very special about this film, to me. After all, films like this is what film-making is all about, and the reason why films are worth watching.

9.5 out of 10

Sideways (2004)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A wonderful and untraditional American comedy, 13 September 2005

"If anybody orders Merlot, I'm leaving! I am NOT drinkin' any f**king Merlot!!!"

Alexander Payne's "Sideways" is one of those critically acclaimed films, which I never got to experience when it was playing at the theaters. But when it hit the DVD, I read that it was more suitable for a good Saturday evening in the sofa, with a bucket of popcorn, a pizza, a soda and some even recommended bottle of good wine. After watching it, I understood the latter recommendation, and I sure had a good time watching it in my sofa in front of the TV.

In this film we meet Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti) and his friend Jack Lapate (Thomas Haden Church), who used to be his room-mate during study-time. Miles is a lonely man who went through a divorce two years ago, but is still stuck in the past. His greatest interest is wine, pluss he's a (rather unsuccessful) novelist. Jack is an actor who hasn't tasted too much of success either, but who is about to get married. Miles decides to take Jack out on a road trip through Califorina's wine-country, during the week before the wedding. His plan is to have a good time, taste a lot of wine, play golf and eat good food. But it turns out that the two of them have different intentions for the trip, and that it all becomes a long search to find themselves and what they really want with their lives.

Now, it might be a bit wrong to call this pure comedy. It is a very serious film who has its funny and amusing moments, pluss it could also be called a road-movie. What's most important is that it's a feel-good movie about friendship, love and life in a general, that will reach out for many of your feelings.

Much of this films qualities is due to Alexander Payne's brilliant and purposeful directing, and the well thought-out script he has written together with Jim Taylor. These are the factors that make "Sideways" an enjoying viewing and different from your average American comedy. But in a film like this, with such a significant focus on the characters, you need good actors too, which is this film's rocksteady point. Paul Giamatti is giving a fantastic performance as the depressed, eccentric and sometimes pathetic Miles Raymond, who is very negative concerning most of the parts of the trip...a character that obviously suited Giamatti perfectly. Thomas Haden Church is also doing a great job as Jack Lapate, who is approaching things in a much more positive way, and is actually a very different person from Miles. Together, Giamatti and Hayden Church portrays Miles and Jack's friendship with a nice chemistry. But even though the leading actors are stealing most attention, the two actresses Virginia Madsen (Maya) and Sandrah Oh (Stephanie) are also playing important roles, and are contributing to making this a very honest and humane film.

And that may be my most important reason for recommending's such an honest and enjoyable film. The characters may not be flawless persons, but they're all likable and responsive people in some way, who gives us a taste of life and feelings which concerns us all. Many has praised "Sideways" as last years best American movie. Personally, I don't think it knocks Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning masterstroke "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), but without a second of doubt, "Sideways" is a film that appreciaters of good cinema shouldn't miss out on.

9.0 out of 10

I, Robot (2004)
Entertaining and fascinating future-vision, 26 August 2005

I haven't been to the cinema this fact, I haven't been to the cinema since the première of "The Day After Tomorrow" (2004). So I decided to go for "I, Robot". A future-vision about the mankind living together with robots, and my childhood-hero Will Smith in the leading role. I figured this had to be some good popcorn-entertainment, and I'm not disappointed. But I did get a film that was quite different than what I had expected.

The year is 2035, and people are living in harmony with robots that are designed and programmed to protect and obey orders from all people. We follow a police officer named Del Spooner (played by Will Smith), who is very sceptic about the robots after he had an bad experience with a robot, years ago. One day, Spooner is immediately being contacted when an old doctor named Alfred Lanning (played by James Cromwell) commits suicide. Dr. Lanning had just played an important role in the process of creating a "new and better" robot-model. No one understands why he would kill himself, but it turns out that Lanning knew something about the new robot-models that mankind never would be prepared for...

Something that struck me from the beginning of, was that "I, Robot" suffered from an very bad start. The opening was full of clichés and all about Will Smith's character walking around saying "cool and funny" lines, that were far from funny in my opinion. It didn't exactly make me "look forward" to the rest of the film, but thankfully the film did elevate from the point when Dr. Lanning was found dead. This is when it becomes a entertaining and fascinating future-vision about robots.

I came to the cinema to see robots. As a huge fan of the "Terminator" films, I have to say that I find myself fascinated by robots, in some way. And the robot-part didn't disappoint me. The robot called Sonny, who's a different robot with feelings and intelligence, impressed me and caught my attention. As a future-vision the film has some interesting elements, and I liked the way future-Chicago is being portrayed. A little flaw is that I think the setting of the story should've been further into the future. I mean...I doubt that we will see hoover-vehicles, robots and a technology like that in 30 years from now.

Will Smith is an good actor, no doubt about that...but this is not exactly a role written for him to show his talent. He has his moments in this film, but the problem is, as mentioned earlier, that he is given to many cliché-full "one-liners". But as the film goes on there is fewer of them, and he also comes with some lines that actually ARE funny. As for the rest of the cast I don't really feel that there's anyone that has to be mentioned. So let's just say that "I, Robot" is a film where the actors aren't the main attraction, in my opinion.

Over all..."I, Robot" is very good entertainment. Good Special Effects, good action, fascinating at times, thrilling at times and the plot is also solid. But after watching it I can't help feeling that it had the potential of being an excellent science-fiction movie, if some parts had been taken better care of. But despite it's down-sides, it was worth the visit to the cinema.

7.5 out of 10

Dead Alive (1992)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The goriest film I've ever seen!, 26 August 2005

Who is Peter Jackson? If you ask the average person that question, 9 out of 10 will answer "oh, he's the man behind those 'Lord Of The Rings' films". That's true of course, but that's not what he is to me. "Braindead" and "Bad Taste" (1987) is the films I associate with Mr. Jackson. "The Fellowship Of The Ring" (2001) is one of the best films I've ever seen, but these are the films I love him for.

Lionell is a young man who lives with his dominating mother Vera. He has never been with a girl, but one day he meets Paquita, and they fall in love with each other. When this happens, Lionell's mother gets jealous. And while spying at her son during a date with Paquita at the local Zoo, she's being bitten by a rat-monkey from Sumatra. Her wound gets infected by a virus which turns her into a flesh-hungry zombie after a while. Soon the virus is infecting other people and the whole situation is out of control within a few days.

"Braindead" has been called 'every horror-fan's wet dream'. But the funny thing is that it is not a horror-film. To me, it isn't horrifying at all. It is a zombie-film though...and a VERY funny one. It can be called a Zombie-Splatter-Comedy, and I would also call it a "gore-fest" like no other. I have honestly never seen a film with so much gore. If you don't like films with blood, then "Braindead" is THE last film you should watch. The first hour of the film may not be the worst you'll see, but after that....and the I have to mention more than "cutting the grass"? It's hard to believe that this film is made by the same man who would later make "The Lord Of The Rings". It is loaded with scenes and moments that's sick, twisted and some even disgusting and perverse. But even though I, with a smile, keep asking the question "what kind of sick person would make something like this?", I notice that everything is given to me in a way that's quickly making me laugh. And through all the "insanity", it is possible to spot a genius that would later be able to make something as masterful as the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy.

The actors and the plot is not exactly the main focus in a film like this. The plot is only giving the scenes a little boost, and the love-part of the story, for example, is so stupid and silly that it's embarrassing to watch at times. The cast is pleasing though. Timothy Balme is funny to watch in his role as Lionell, and Elizabeth is also doing a good job as Lionell's mother Vera. But Diana Peñalver who plays Paquita is so terrible that I start wondering if she's supposed to be that bad. Other memorable characters is Ian Watkin's Uncle Les and Father McGruder (Stuart Devenie), who plays the leading part in a famous graveyard scene.

Gore-fans from all over the world has embraced this film as one of the best Zombie-movies ever made, and out of Peter Jackson's three cult-films ("Meet The Feebles" (1989) and "Bad Taste" (1987) is the two others), "Braindead" is probably the most popular and respected one. Leave your brain and rationality somewhere else when you're going to watch this film, and you'll have a good laugh while experiencing the work of a man who seems like a genius and a maniac, at the same time.

8.5 out of 10

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A war-movie? Or a movie taking place in the war?, 23 August 2005

It has been called "Simply the best movie ever made!", while most viewers are just calling it the best war-movie ever made. After watching "Apocalypse Now! Redux" twice, I don't think the film earns any of those titles. But Francis Ford Coppola, the man behind one of our time's greatest movie-masterpieces: "The Godfather" (1972), has made a film about the Vietnam-war that's a pretty unique movie-experience. This is a must for everyone who like artistic cinema.

Colonel Walter Kurtz (Marlon Brando) is a national hero with a career in the army which is full of merits of bravery and honour. But now he has gone insane, and has escaped from the army and into the jungle of Vietnam, where he is living as a king among an army of his own. Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) is being given the mission of finding Kurtz and "terminate" him. Together with some young unexperienced soldiers, he starts the search. In a boat, through a river, the journey goes deep into the jungle. A slow journey into the insanity and madness of the war...a journey to hell on earth.

Now, can this film really be called a war-movie? The reason I ask this question, is because I feel that this film has its focus on the people in the war, and their experiences and reflections, rather than the war itself. This is not about people fighting in the war, but a story that takes place in Vietnam DURING the war. But this is probably just one of many questions that Coppola wanted people to ask themselves after a weird, thought-provoking, shocking, "tormenting" and totally unique film-experience like this.

The most notable thing about "Apocalypse Now! Redux", and probably the most impelling part is the cinematography...beautiful and perfect. And over all, I think this film has its definite strength in the visual part, but Coppola's directing and contribution to the score should also be mentioned. It all sets a very special mood for the film, and provides a unique movie-experience that it's hard to not be impressed by. I'm also convinced that this is the most artistic war-movie ever even tops Terrence Mavelick's poetic "The Thin Red Line" (1998) when it comes to artistic expressions, in my opinion. So if you like challenging films with depth, I think you should see this film, no matter what you've read or heard about it.

"Apocalypse Now! Redux" has also a solid cast. Martin Sheen is doing very well in the exacting leading role as Captain Benjamin Willard. Actors such as Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest and Marlon Brando is also giving good performances in a film with characters that seems to have a total lack of "normal" persons. A young Lawrence Fishburne also shows up and gives a approved performance as Tyrone Miller. But the most memorable performance of the film is being delivered by Robert Duvall. His character Lt. Bill Kilgore is among the most famous in film-history, and the way Duvall portrays him is pure brilliance.

I haven't seen the original "Apocolypse Now!" from 1979 with the running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, but I feel that the running time of 3 hours and 15 minutes is the weakness of "Apocalypse Now! Redux". I know long-time admirers of "Apocalypse Now!" (1979) has embraced the added scenes in the Redux-version, but I personally found the film a bit long-winded when it approached 3 hours. I think the scenes where Cpt. Willard and his companions visit a French plantation in the middle of the jungle, is the film's lowest point, and there's also some other scenes that lacks consistency, and that's not strengthening the film.

With "Apocalypse Now! Redux", Francis Ford Coppola has made a spectacular piece of cinema. Visually, it is perfect and over all this is a film that all film-enthusiasts should experience at least once. But I think the average movie-viewer should go for the original version from 1979. This is a very good film, but not exactly a Top-Rated masterpiece, in my opinion. And if you really want a film about the Vietnam-war, I think Oliver Stone's "Platoon" (1986) would be a better choice.

8.5 out of 10

Fargo (1996)
Funny and interesting thriller by the Coens, 1 February 2005

When this film came out in 1997, a Norwegian movie-critic wrote that "This is the film that makes Quentin Tarantino look like an amateur!". After I read that line, I felt that "Fargo" was either going to surprise me, or just make me mad. It didn't really do any of those things. And even though there was something original about it, it was clearly that it couldn't compete with Tarantino-masterpieces such as "Pulp Fiction" (1994) or "Reservoir Dogs" (1992). So I couldn't say that I liked it. But after this....the Coen-brothers came out with another film called "The Big Lebowski" (1998), which is among the best comedies I've ever seen, and has become one of my favorite films. So it was easier to watch "Fargo" for the second time. And after is a pretty good film.

This film takes place in Minnesota, and we meet Jerry Lundegaard, who is a family-father who works at a car-firm. Jerry seems to have a bit of a money-problem, so he decides to rent someone to kidnap his wife, so that his rich father-in-law can pay the kidnappers AND (without knowing it, off course) Lundegaard a whole lot of money to free his wife. Lundegaard think this is a plan that's going to work without any problems, but as the kidnapping begins, so does the complications.

There's many reason to think of Quentin Tarantino when watching this film. It's a film where the characters and the dialogs are in focus, and over all it has elements that you don't find in the average American films...just like Tarantino's works. Quentin is known for borrowing (or stealing, as many prefer to say) from other films of different genres, then putting it together and blessing it with is own personality and originality. That's something the Coen-brothers also are doing.

When basing your film on characters, you need good actors. William Macy is doing very well in his role as the scatterbrained and pathetic Jerry Lundegaard. Steve Buscemi and Swedish actor Peter Stormare are memorable as the two kidnappers who are doing their part of messing the plan up. Frances McDormand, who received an Oscar Academy Award for her performance, plays the pregnant police-officer Marge, one of the most cosily persons I've ever seen on film...a very good performance. As for the rest of the cast, they're all doing pleasing jobs in their roles as all the funny characters you find in this film.

"Fargo" is a thriller filled with a very black kind of humor, and that's probably what I like the most about it. As the story goes on and develops, it provides many intense and thrilling scenes and moments, also strong violence which tops itself during a famous and bizarre part of the film's ending. But at the same time, it has me laughing my way through it all. All the people and characters that shows up and the situations they're in are so absurd or ridiculous that I just can't stop laughing at times. Actually, the film as a whole is just peculiar enough to be appreciated by someone who wants to watch a crime-thriller which is a bit different, and has something extra to offer.

I have yet to see any of the films that's being regarded as the Coen-brothers' real masterpieces..."Miller's Crossing" (1990) or "Barton Fink" (1991), but "Fargo" is definitely a film one shouldn't miss out on. It's thrilling, original, very funny and over all a quality film, though not a masterpiece as many wants to label it.

8.5 out of 10

Se7en (1995)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
David Fincher's best film so far, 30 January 2005

Every time the name David Fincher is mentioned, people I know start talking about "Fight Club" (1999). It seems like everybody has nothing but great things to say about that film...just like "The Matrix" (1999) and "The 6th Sense" (1999) which came out the same year. They're all good films, but they have never grabbed me the same way as they've grabbed "everybody" else. "Fight Club" tries to hard to be something it never manages to become, in my opinion. But let's not get out of line. Let's talk about another film by David Fincher instead. "Se7en" THAT'S one special film.

This is one of those films that I feel is best to watch, when knowing as little as possible about the plot, but I can keep it to a minimum: William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) are two detectives, an old veteran and a young newcomer, that's being hired for a murder-case. This turns out to be a case of a serial-killer, and the killer's victims is people committing one of the seven deadly sins: Gluttony, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and wrath.

Serial-killers, detectives, thrillers...crime-films like this are not the types I watch too often. So let's just say that "Seven" is not only one of the few that I like, but probably the best film I've seen in it's genre (I don't remember much from the one time I saw Jonathan Demme's classic "The Silence Of The Lambs" (1991) many years ago). It's dark, stylish, well-made and very thrilling. And if David Fincher should be labeled a movie-genius (something that many of my friends thinks), then "Se7en" should be labeled his masterpiece, I think.

The most brilliant part of the film hits you right from the beginning of....the mood. This film creates a dark and dusky mood that fits the plot and setting perfect, and creeps up under your skin and glues you to the screen. Techniqually and visually, this film is overwhelming and offers everything I expect from a thriller. We also get a fear amount of shocking and horrid pictures that's building up under the creepy "feeling" of the film. David Fincher has done a great job with this film, but Howard Shore's haunting score should also be mentioned, and off course Andrew Kevin Walker's brilliant script and story, which is very solid through out the whole film. Numerous of people have hailed Fincher's "Fight Club" (1999) and M.Night Shyamalan's "The 6th Sense" (1999) as two films with the best and most ingenious endings ever. Well, those people sure haven't seen "Se7en"....THIS film has a surprising and ingenious ending. I love every scene during the ending part of this film ("You're no messiah! You're a movie of the week! You're a f**kin' T-Shirt, at best!"). I've seen "Se7en" two times, with a gap of about one year. I remembered much of the film the second time I watched it, still I was totally surprised and stunned when the film came to the ending. This part is classic cinema at it's best.

With a great story like this you need some good actors to bring the characters to life, and "Se7en" doesn't disappoint at that point either. Morgan Freeman is good as usual, even though he, to me, seems like the same person as he plays in about every film I've seen him in: the old, wise and confident man who got the answer to almost every question. Brad Pitt is also good in, what may be, the best performance I've ever seen by him. The same can be said for Gwyneth Paltrow (who plays David Mills' wife), even though I haven't seen many films with her. But the one who steals the show, in my opinion, is Kevin Spacey. His role and character is very surprising, and I don't want to spoil anything. Just wait until you get to see his character show up in the film...he's brilliant.

Like I said before, "Se7en" is probably the best serial-killer movie I've ever seen. But even though it is solid at all points, it does have a few imperfections...but how much should I really demand the few times when I'm watching films like this? I recommend this film for everyone. I waited too long before I watched it for the first time, and that's not something I want other people who like good movies, to do. "Se7en" is a thrilling experience you'll never forget.

9.0 out of 10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The Lord Of The Three Films!, 9 January 2005

People decides for themselves what to like and what to dislike, but it disappoints me to see that the first installment in the largest project in film-history is (currently) 6 and 1 spots behind it's followers on the Top 250 list. In my opinion, "The Fellowship Of The Ring" is the true cinematic masterpiece in Peter Jackson's trilogy.

I'm a huge "wayback" fan of both J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson. I've read all of Tolkien's works, and Jackson has been one of my favorites since I saw his hilarious splatter-cults "Bad Taste" (1987) and "Braindead" (1992) for the first time. At first I was VERY skeptical about Mr. Jackson making a film out of Tolkien's literary masterpiece. But at the Cinema 19. December 2001, I couldn't have been more satisfied...after three hours of some of the most outstanding perfection I've ever seen on film. And the Extended DVD Edition added another 30 minutes of perfection to an already perfect film.

"The Fellowship Of The Ring" introduces us to many of the characters that we will be following through the three films. And I think everybody knows the story of the film: The hobbit Frodo gets the responsibility for the ring of power. He decides to bring the ring to the land of Mordor to destroy it, and keep it from ending up in the hands of the dark lord Sauron. He teams up with his hobbit-friends Sam, Peppin, Merry, the wizard Gandalv, the warrior Aragorn and others, and so the long journey begins...

The story from the book is already the most fantastic story ever written, so it was up to Peter Jakcson and the whole film-team to make a film that was worthy Tolkien's work. And the first chapter does it in an absolutely flawless way. Everybody in the film is doing a great job. Elijah Wood has been criticized by many, but I personally think that he plays his part as Frodo in a very good way. But as a hobbit, he can never touch Ian Holm in his role as Bilbo Baggins. Every scene with Holm and Ian McKellen (Gandalv) gives me the chills. The best performances in the trilogy. Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Sean Astin (Sam)...honestly I don't think anybody in the cast is doing a bad job.

Three things that should be mentioned about this film: the Special Effects, the Cinematography and the Score. Off course, the Special Effects means much to a Fantasy-film like this. But it's not overblown and pompous Effects just for the sake of it, it's an important part of making "The Fellowship..." a wonderful experience. As for the Cinematography and the Score, those two are enough reasons to watch this film. This film is loaded with NUMEROUS beautiful pictures of the wild nature of New Zealand and other great details, some of them the most beautiful I've ever seen on film. As the film goes on, I almost stop noticing the phenomenal score by Howard Shore that is almost being constantly played, because the beauty of the music and the pictures is complementing each other in such a fantastic way. I think "The Fellowship..." has the best score in the trilogy, and one of the best ever. The epic theme "The Breaking Of The Fellowship" that's being played during the last scenes of the film is one of the greatest musical masterpieces in film-history. "Concerning Hobbits" (played when we're being introduced to The Shire) is also one of my favorites.

Like millions of Tolkien-fans, I could have complained about the film not being 100 percent true to the book. ***Possible Spoilers*** Everybody who has read the book, know that the elf Arwen does not appear in "The Fellowship..." ***End Of Spoilers***. But the fact is that the scene when we're being introduced to Arwen, when she rescues Frodo, is one of the most beautiful and magical moments in the film. Peter Jackson said that she was put into the film to give it a female-character, and I don't blame him. After all, it's just a joy to see the beautiful elf-look of Liv Tyler light up the scenes. And many have complained about Jackson selecting Hugo Weaving to play the elf-master Elrond, because of his famous role in the "Matrix" trilogy. Well, I'm not a Matrix-fan, so I think he plays Elrond in a powerful way.

To me, there's something special about "The Fellowship Of The Ring". I love the whole story (my favorite chapter in the book too) and it has so many scenes that kind of makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. And through out the whole film, tears keep rolling down my cheeks. Not because the film is sad, but because all the magical and beautiful moments gives me tears of happiness. Another thing that makes this film the best in the trilogy, is that it (except for an little abrupt end) stands perfectly as a film on it's own. That's not something I can say about the two others, especially not "The Two Towers" (2002).

The marvelous Make-Up and the Set Direction should also be mentioned, and I forgot to mention Sean Bean who shines in his role as the warrior Boromir, and after watching this film it shouldn't be any doubt that Peter Jackson is one of today's best directors. It's just so much PERFECTION in this film!! THIS is the "Lord Of The Rings"-film that should've gotten 11 Oscars. Simply one of the very very best films I've ever seen. I just have to say what's been said a million times before: Embrace The Magic!....Embrace The Most Magical Event In The History Of Cinema!!

10 out of 10

"The Fellowship Of The Ring" is currently #2 in my Top 5 Best Movies of All Time.

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Vol.2 Is The Return Of The Trademark Tarantino!, 30 November 2004

"That woman deserves her revenge....and we deserve to die!"

Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill vol.1" was a film that left the audiences with very mixed feelings. People who is watching films just for the Action and entertainment's sake loved it. It received good reviews and top-ratings from the critics, while some said that the story was too minimalistic. Many recognized the artistic and passionate work Quentin has put into it, while many dedicated Tarantino-fans were missing his clever and interesting dialogs, and the good acting-performances. You can click on my name, if you want to know MY opinion on that film. All I can say is that "Kill Bill vol.2" is the return of the Tarantino that we first fell in love with. He proves a lot in the spectacular ending-part of his revenge-saga.

The story is still the same, and still simple. The Bride/Black Mamba (Uma Thurman) is still on her killing rampage. We saw her finish off two of the persons on her "Death List Five" in "...Vol.1", now there's three names left on the list. Elle, Budd and of course....BILL. But "...Vol.2" is also the answer to all the questions you were asking after the first Volume.

First off, no matter what you thought about the first Volume, "Kill Bill vol.2" is a almost completely different film. And once again Tarantino has left the viewers with mixed opinions. Those who hoped that it would continue where the first part ended, as an explosion of stylish violence, were truly disappointed. Those who hoped that it would be a more serious film, with more depth and intelligence....knock yourselves out! This is the film that certifies Quentin Tarantino's position as one of the most unique film-makers in the history of cinema.

Visually, this film keeps up the perfection from "...Vol.1". Flawless camera-work, editing, set direction and so on. Tarantino keeps serving us these little details and scenes that's perfecting the whole experience. The most memorable one is a masterful scene which contains a coffin and a grave.

I'm not going to say more than that it's the most claustrophobic scene, and one of the most uncomfortable scenes I've ever seen...but at the same time it's so admirably ingenious and well-made. And let's not forget about the parts where we get to meet The Bride's teaching-master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu) and his "teaching-methods". And another thing...if you were missing Quentin's trademark dialogs when you watched the first Volume, just lean back and enjoy when you're watching this one. This time he once again exposes the writing-skills that we know only HE has.

It's easier to evaluate the actors in "Kill Bill vol.2", compared to the first one. This time the characters doesn't look like someone you'll find in cartoons and comics, but real people. Uma Thurman brings a new dimension to her Black Mamba/The Bride-character, in a absolutely stunning performance. I think her hard work and contributions to these films is an Oscar Academy Award worthy. We also get to see more of Daryl Hannah's "b*tch"-character Elle Driver. Michael Madsen is doing great in his role as Budd, one of many disgusting male-characters in these films, and David Carradine is making Bill a very interesting character. But the cast got one disappointment: Vicki Lucai, who is terrible and almost robot-like in her role as little Trixie. This shows that Quentin got a weakness when it comes to working with child-actors.

But Lucai is not the only weakness in this film. When it comes to the music, I think this film is a step backwards compared to "...vol.1". I read somewhere that Ennio Morricone was going to be working on this film, but that turned out to be incorrect. Even though Robert Rodriguez's original score is very good, I don't think this film keeps it on the usual Tarantino-level, musically. I also have to agree with the ones who think that Michael Parks' pimp-character Esteban Vihaio was a unnecessary and almost pointless part of the film. And last but not least...the ending. Like most of us, I was expecting something completely else. I have problems trying to like it, even though I (after watching the film for the second time) figured that Tarantino just couldn't give the film a predictable end...he had to use a original twist.

After watching both volumes back-to-back a few days ago, I have to join the ones who think "Kill Bill" should've been ONE long film instead of two volumes. As separated, they're two great, yet very different films with they're own strengths and weaknesses. If they were edited into one film, I'm sure I would've considered it as another masterpiece, almost on the same level as Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994) and "Reservoir Dogs" (1992). Still, I think that watching both volumes in a row is a fantastic and unique movie-experience that you have to try for yourself. Quentin Tarantino has yet to disappoint me, and as my favorite director I hope he will keep giving me film-experiences like this for years to come. I don't care if it's many years between them...take your time. As long as it's quality like this you're giving me, it doesn't matter to me. The Fourth Film By Quentin was worth the wait!

Kill Bill vol.1: 9.0 out of 10

Kill Bill vol.2: 9.0 out of 10

KILL BILL: 9.5 out of 10

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