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Not often are we disposed of a film so warm and true like this film. It's about a band with slightly mental handicaps who gets quite popular, and we get to see how this inflicts the band and their members. It's been a while since I've seen such a honest film that don't tell nothing but the truth. There are a lot of moments in this film that really makes you smile, and it's one of those lovely feel-good films that I think everyone should see in these times of violence and aggression.
Also, one of the great things about this film is that we get to see the real picture of what really is going on in their lives. That typical Hollywood angling of everything is fortunately dropped. It makes the film contain the truth and genuinity to it. Without the fact that it truly is genuine, I don't think it would have been such an important film, because it really is an important film.
As earlier mentioned, the people in this band in which this film is about, have mental handicaps of different kinds. Where many other films could have failed in showing the negative side of it, this film just shows how marvelous these people can be, and for that matter, I think it is an important film just for the sake of the in-alienation of those who are a bit "different" than us others.
Welcome to insanity in its purest shape
Never have I seen such a intense and tight live DVD as this one! Slipknot is known to be one of the loudest and fastest band around, and they certainly prove this on Disasterpieces. Shot in London with thousands of dedicated fans, it couldn't possibly go wrong, and it definitely didn't! The set list is based around their earliest recordings, the self titled debut Slipknot from 1999 and IOWA from 2001. Usually, it can be a bit boring to have so little songs to choose from, but in Slipknot's case, it's no problem at all, because both albums are very good. From the very first tune they play, the crowd in London, and also you, get psyched to a ecstatic level. Never have extreme music been this good on a DVD recording! They never rest, and keeps on pumping out agony and hate for nearly 2 hours. Many times when you listen to this type of music, it has a tendency to get boring and similar after a while. Slipknot is not one of these cases. When the last song is through, you wish that it continue, but it's sadly enough over.
As bonus on this DVD you get some promo videos that are fairly cool, but not so much more is to find on the two discs. But hey, this release is ESSENTIAL and should be found in every metal lovers DVD collection.
Onkel Oskar (1997)
Country side story with soul.
This movie is based on the infamous books by Torvald Sund, a Norwegian author that have become a "legend" in his home country. The three short stories in this movie is interpreted from his two books "Onkel Oskars saueost" (Uncle Oscar's sheep cheese) and "Onkel Oskar spring naken heim til jul" (Uncle Oscar run naked home for Christmas). These two books became big hits in Norway when they were released in late 1980's and early 1990's. To translate them onto the big screen was a hard task, both because the writing style in the books are very vivid and full of life and thereby difficult to create equally vivid on screen. The second problem was founding. The movie did not get too much money. This resulted in various ways. First of all, the movie looks cheap. The quality of the picture and scenery is rather poor, but still charming. Secondly, they couldn't afford high profiled actors. In fact, the only professional actor (in 1997) was Hilde Heier, playing the young boys mother. The rest was amateur actors with little or no movie experience. Andreas Gjermstad who play Uncle Oscar is a recognized actor in his home county, Trøndelag, but had only experience from plays and similar. This led necessarily to a improvable acting bit, but hey! It has a lot of charm!
The three more or less independent stories are very funny and couldn't have been made any more true to the 70's style that this movie has. Some hilarious moments make you laugh a lot, like when Uncle Oscar have a high speed flee from the police in his "new" car, and also when the young boys mother think he has fallen into the ocean due to Uncle Oscars bad behavior, and the old uncle is forced to dive into the ice cold ocean to try to find the boy. Off course, he's safe at home, sleeping, knowing that his evil uncle gets as he deserves.
As you might have figured out, Uncle Oscar is the "bad guy" in this story. He's not really voluntarily evil, but manage to force the young (un-named) boy to do things he don't want to do. The third big role in this movie is the boys mother. She's trying to be neutral in the "battle" between the uncle and his nephew, but somehow, she manages to make things worse and in the dis-favor of her boy. As in every story, the boy (the hero) wins in the end because he's the good guy.
The location for this movie is basically Åfjorden in Norway. The location creates a kind of cozy and feel-good mood to the movie, and I don't think that part could have been made better in so many ways. The most amazing aspect in my opinion is the unbelievable 70's mood it captures. Everything from clothes, furniture, cars, the store etc is identically with the real 70's style that once was everywhere.
Characters are important in every good movie. Also in this movie. All of the three main characters are fairly good, but falls through to some degree. In my opinion, it suffers from over-acting. They try to make too much out of the characters, and they do not succeed completely with that. But still, they try heroically, and all honor to them for trying their best! The other characters, the stand-ins on the other side, are tremendous! From the police officers, the lady behind the counter in the local grocery shop etc. They are as close as they can be to the real world originals! That part of this movie is quite spectacular if you ask me!
To conclude it all, I will say this is a modern cult classic in Norwegian country side movies, and it deserves a little bit more credit than it have received in the 8 years since it was released. If you should be so lucky to stumble over a copy, buy it and get a nice one hour of sentimental comedy with a lot of heart and soul!
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Beautifully told fairytale
The passion of the Christ was a very controversial film when it was released, and even before it was released too. The most critics said it was anti-Semitic, and to a certain degree, I agree with that. Mel Gibson also "re-write" the history, for instance by making Barabbas a really repugnant man so the crowd is to choose whether to release Christ instead of Barabbas, and they choose Barabbas to walk free, it seems like a really horrible choice. The reason for this is off course that Barabbas is portrayed as a mentally ill and crazy man, something he in fact was not. Gibson has admitted that he tried to make it a missionary kind of movie, due to his own personal Christian belief. But even with this counterfeited story, he manages to create a movie that really touches you. First of all the scenery is very beautiful. This makes a nice background for the whole story, and your eyes never get bored so to speak. The torturing of Christ is very detailed and grotesque, and have been a victim for a lot of criticism, 'cause many people think it's too intimidating and way too long. I don't agree. I think it's a border-line case in which manage to stay in the right side. It's obvious that it makes you feel really sick, but that is the point too, isn't it? I think so. Eventually, your sympathy for this pour man accelerate. When I had seen it, I felt that he wrongfully treated and that the roman soldiers were sinners of a high degree. Gibson got what he wanted. And for that, I applaud! This is nonetheless a great movie that deserves a greater recognition than it actually have got to this day. Not a movie for weak souls, but if you stand the explicit torture scenes, it's a safe movie to take a look at.
Forgotten Silver (1995)
This movie was originally made for New Zealand TV. The idea behind this movie was basically to fool the whole nation! Peter Jackson and his fellow companions planned out that they should try to make up a story about a formerly unknown New Zealandic film creator. The plot was that they had found some "lost" tapes containing loads of material which the unknown film creator had made. Jackson and his crew started to create the scenes which the film creator supposedly had made back in as early as around year 1900. The rest of the story around this man was brilliantly made up, and they even got Harvey Weinstein (a infamous Hollywood producer) and actor Sam Neill to participate in the movie, understating the fact that this formerly unknown film creator was a true genius and a undiscovered talent of a world class! The plot, the setting and everything is so well made and funny, I couldn't believe I had been neglecting this jewel of a film for so many years! Eventually, when it was aired in 1995, everyone thought it was a sensation. No one asked themselves if it actually was possible that such a "big name" had remained unknown. History books were about to be changed! But then Jackson and his companions told the secret. The result was tremendous! Jackson became the most hated man on New Zealand.
Despite of all this, it's a great movie that show you that everything is possible. Peter Jackson's directing in this movie is really good, as well as the script is very, very good. Without a doubt a movie that deserves a place in history as one of the greatest ever!
Legends of the Fall (1994)
Epic journey through wonders of life
There are many things you can say about this movie. Many people would say it's both full of clichés and too dramatic plot(s). But I have never caught the point in these kind of critics. If a story is a bit used up and filled with clichés, why does it have to be mocked? Such films as Pearl Harbor, Titanic etc., are a bit over the top, but I honestly think that Legends of the Fall contains so many qualities that it deserve the credit it deserves. All along the film, we follow the life and times of the Ludlow family living in Northern USA in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It is always well balanced between ingeniousness and cliché. Just a few times this line is crossed (thereby 9, not 10 points), and in the end, you're left with a good feeling, 'cause this is really a "feel-good movie". If romance, action and intrigues are your thing, I can absolutely recommend this, 'cause every time I see it I'm deeply touched.
Det okända. (2000)
awful movie flick!
When I was going to see this movie, I had an open mind. Low budget Swedish film should have lit a warning lamp in my head, but not enough to avoid seeing it! 'Cause this is a really, really horrible movie with a plot that is sooo cheasy, you can't possibly imagine why, oh why, they got money whatsoever to make this movie. The whole story is set to the no-man-lands in Sweden where it have been a forest fire. 4 young Swedish scientists comes to this area to see what the impact in the nature have been. As they search through the area for evidences, one of the crew members find a dead thing in which they can't identify. They take it with them home, due to perform an autopsy later. When they later on do that, it turns out that this thing is something none of them have ever seen. They leave it outside, but a little bit later, they find out that it's gone. In fact, this "thing" start to infect one by one of the crew with a disease that make them go crazy, and makes them start to hunt on the others. Just as crappy as the plot, the movie is a real horrific show-off in "how to not make a movie"-genre! Mark my words, this is a movie you WANT to avoid!