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The Thing (I) (2011)
Different time different movie
29 October 2011
Last night I had the pleasure of catching the premiere of The Thing at the local cinema. I admit I had my doubts about the new film, but I was surprised.

The original The Thing is a really great movie. It's intense and thrilling mood keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I've seen it several times and think it's one of the best horror/thrillers. Still today, 30 years after it premiered, it's still a must see of the genre and the effects are still good. So naturally as a fan of the original I was excited and very skeptical when I heard they was making a prequel.

The 2011 version of The Thing is a prequel to the original 1982 John Carpenter movie. An American grad student is recruited by Dr. Sander Halvorsen and travels to Antarctica to a Norwegian research base to help the Norwegians excavate some kind of unusual creature.

Let's admit it; We've all wondered what happened at the Norwegian base, that led the Norwegians chasing a dog across the ice in a helicopter. On the other hand the original is so good that we hate to see it remade.

So, how was it? Well, it's not the original, and thank God it's not trying to be either. This film does not share the intense thrilling mood. This is more of a horror film that plays on goo, boo and scary monsters than a psychological thriller.

The actors deliver a pretty good performance. While the original had no female characters this one has a strong female lead as the protagonist. What is the most satisfying, however, is seeing the strong Norwegian cast. All the Norwegian characters are played by Norwegian actors. Now, as a Norwegian myself I remember how hilarious it sounded when the "Norwegians" in the original spoke and we all know how stupid it looks when Germans, French or what ever speak English to one another. In this film it was great to see Norwegians being Norwegian and interacting not only in their native language, but also in a Norwegian manner. Having Norwegian actors means more than just having native Norwegian speakers, it means having people act Norwegian as well and in this film they do. As a Norwegian this is great to see! As for the story, it was pretty much the original story, with many of the same elements. It was just done a bit different and with different characters, but the specific story elements such as devising a test and locking people up in the shed was there. They did do some things different, but story wise, this film is in essence a remake of the original which was a bit disappointing. They could've made the story differ more from the original. This made the movie feel a bit like a remake, but it was done in a different way and it didn't seem like they tried to directly copy the original. What I really liked was that the thing acted different. It was not so hidden, it was out in the light and more openly attacked people, where as in the original it stays hidden. I liked this because it gives the thing more character, shows intelligence and a development from this prequel to the sequel. I felt I got to know the thing it self better, which I kind of liked.

We need to mention the effects. The original was praised for it's effects and while there are a bit more CGI in this, it looks good. Noting looks over the top, poorly done, or fake. It just looks good. A lot of goo and great monsters that looks horrific! All in all liked the new movie. It had great acting, it was scary, had good storytelling and just took you for a ride. Sure it's not the original and can't be compared to it. And I don't think it should. It should be compared to other movies in the genre. It's a horror movie and as such it's one of the better ones I've seen in a long time!
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2/10
Very entertaining
14 March 2007
I'm a fan of both X-Files and 24 and I found this movie very entertaining. OK, sarcasm aside, I'm not saying these guys are wrong or right. I'm simply saying that as a documentary this film is sloppy and pretty much just propaganda.

First I'd like to look at this film as a documentary and not involve the debate it's part of. To put it simple; it's propaganda. As a documentary this film is sloppy and bad. The film makers have one thing in mind; to present the fact as they see it suit their cause and try to convince and convert the viewer. Where as a real documentary would try to give a more objective presentation of all the facts, dig into the stuff and try to present various explanations and in cases of speculation leave that for the viewer to figure out. Loose Change does not at all present or theorize about any other number of plausible explanations for some of the phenomenas, but presents only one side of a story and does what it can to promote the film makers views and blacken the other side.

So much for the way of presenting the facts, but the facts, or rather lack there of, they present is far from concrete nor convincing. Their conclusions are based on poor quality pictures and TV images (not necessarily poor as in bad quality, but poor as you don't really see anything) and witnesses (which is known to be very unreliable evidence) rather than any actual hard facts.

It has some nice things to it too. There is a nice drive in the presentation and it keeps the viewer watching. The editing is nice enough, but over all is no technical wonder.

All together it's a horrible flick and more or less just propaganda. It does not at all work well as a documentary and has an amateur feel to it. However, because it works really well as propaganda and I imagine has a lot of people will be convinced by it I'll give it two stars. Because I'm no fan of propaganda in general I would not recommend this movie and I would advise anyone who watches it to look at it with a critical eye.

The only thing they actually manage to prove is that yes, the government is holding back information about certain parts of the events that took place, but that's not really breaking news. The only ones who are naive enough to believe blindly in the "evidence" presented in this "documentary" are the ones who are naive enough to believe the government would go public with everything. Of course the government will hold back information and details in a case like this. Not so much to keep it's own people from learning the truth, but to keep foreign and hostile intelligence from learning what they know.
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Miami Vice (2006)
6/10
Nicely shot, story wise OK.
12 August 2006
I went to see Miami Vice on it's premiere night here in Norway. A quite interesting film I must say. First of all, let me just say it has nothing to do with the series. The name is just about the only connection between the film and the series. It's not a remake or a follow up, it's a standalone film. So, even if you liked the series, you can go and watch this movie without being afraid I'll destroy the franchise, cause it's hardly, if at all part of it.

Now, it was an interesting movie. Not so much story wise. It's another one of those shoot 'em up under cover detective style films. It almost seemed like they had too much story. Very much dialog and stuff happening all the time. I missed shots that build up the excitement. Things kind of ended before it began.

What was interesting about this movie was the way it was shot. On video, HD, with some really out of the ordinary shots. The use of gain was quite obvious and made a nice effect. Quite a lot of ultra close ups and shots totally out of focus. Not to mention the use of the depth of field letting things fall in and out of focus and hand held camera. Elements that give it a documentary-style look and elements of cinema mixed together. It turns out quite nice.

If this movie is going to be remembered for something and stand out in the crowd it's because of the way it's shot and the way it looks. It got some really good acting too. Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell does some good performances and the rest of the cast is not bad. As for the music, well it's OK. I was expecting some themes from the series to be played in a new version maybe, but that didn't happen. The score builds the mood OK, but is nothing special.

All in all Miami Vice is nothing like the series and luckily it doesn't try to be either. It's an OK film, but except for being very nicely shot and makes use of some interesting effects it offers very little new.
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5/10
Still pretty much unexplained
1 July 2006
A one hour show that tells three stories. Three seemingly unexplainable stories, each with proof of the paranormal. They'll be put to the test and judged Proof Negative or Proof Inconclusive. Only one will be judged Proof Positive.

The show chooses a variety of cases to present. Reincarnation, UFOs, chupacabra, lake monsters, ghosts, psychic abilities and more. It's interesting to watch and believable. However, at times it can be too much. Three stories are told in detail and less then one hour may be a little short time. There are a lot of information to take in and it's all coming very fast.

The show is OK. There is nothing really revolutionary about it. There is more focus on the stories then the actual testing of them and sometimes it feel like they've just taken the easy way out. They don't dig very deep or come with a lot of research and it's often just eye witness accounts that are tested. Sometimes I hardly feel they've gone deep enough to draw a conclusion at all.

As a documentary it works. They are good at telling the stories and go into details, but don't go into that much detail in documenting the testing. Only negative thing about the storytelling in that I feel they use too much effects and it makes it confusing to watch. When you get used to it after a while it's OK, but at first glance it can all look very confusing.

Proof Positive is an OK show to watch, but far from a must see. Even if you are really into the paranormal stuff it's not a must see. You may be disappointed if the things you believe in are not proved positive. But then again it's not easy to prove or disprove many of these cases. Witch is why they pretty much are unsolved and unexplained and pretty much are so after this show had a look at them too.
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Broken Arrow (1996)
5/10
Just an action film
25 June 2006
OK, so I sat down to watch this movie for my second time. Why? I was in the mood for some action.

John Travolta stars as a USAF Major who is planning drop of the nuclear bomb he's carrying for a test run and steal them. Unfortunately, his co-pilot and a park ranger was not part of his plans.

Let's start by saying this is a 100% pure action movie. Cheesy dialog, big explosions, a chick and impending doom. Who can possibly ask for more? The writing is OK. The plot is OK, but there are holes and less logical things. The dialog is fake and cheesy at times. The characters is nice enough developed, but there could be done more work here. There are some nice touches done in the writing too, I'll give it that. All together the writing is OK. Not the best, but in no way the worst either. The story was probably just an excuse to fly helicopters and blow stuff up.

The cast is very varying in their performance. John Travolta does a great job, in portraying his villain. He portray his character in an incredible way, and is such a bad ass. Christian Slater is not bad either, but not quite there. As for Samantha Mathis, we've seen better. Not all bad, but far from good. The rest of the cast is average. No one worth mentioning in particular.

The film is technically good. The cinematography is good. Some cool angles and stuff and all over good. The sound editing is nice and the special effects, well being an action movie you gotta expect good special effects and you get it. Big explosions, bodies thrown through the air, crashing aircrafts, bullet hits everything is there and most of it is well done.

One thing to notice is the music. Zimmer made a nice theme that follows the score through the movie. Very effective and combined with the visual, very cool.

What makes this movie get a five out of ten is all the minor flaws and rather bad story it has. It's far from a good movie. The good thing is, this movie does not try to be anything it's not. It's just a simple entertaining mindless shoot 'em up action flick and not trying to be anything else it's a good one at that. Then you take the cheesy dialog and plot holes and just don't care. If you're in the mood for action you got your movie right here.
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7/10
Funny and well made short
2 June 2006
Meet a set of hunters. The best in their trade. As they learned from their fathers and their fathers before them, they track down and domesticate a very special prey.

This is a film with a nice twist. The story is good, but at times it is a bit slow. Well written with good narration, but not 100%. The build up is a bit too long I think, but then again the pay-off is good.

As for acting it's good. The narrator does a great job and the three leads and Father Christmas fits their roles perfectly and deliver a good performance.

The cinematography struck me as really nice. Very nice composed and well chosen shots. It's all very delicious to look at. Hat's off to Jean Noel Mustonen. Also I might mention the sets and costumes witch are really nice. They look good and create a really nice setting.

All in all a funny and well made short. I'd not give it a full 10, but it's a good 7, no doubt.
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6/10
Good written, not so good done, but certainly watchable
1 June 2006
After seeing the rating here at IMDb and hearing the stupid accents on the trailer I didn't really have high hopes for this movie. Luckily it turned out to be much better than expected.

Meet Jonathan and Brenda. After given a hard time growing up they move to L.A. to pursue the American dream, only to find out all they who gave them a hard time in their childhood is still giving them a hard time and have found the dream they so desperately seek.

This is one of those films with a rather strong, original and out of the ordinary story. First off it's a story that many can relate to in one way or another. The film is well written with good characters and nice development. You may see where it's headed, but you don't mind cause there's so much to see on the way.

I would like to say that good characters are given life by good actors, but I'm afraid I can not. The acting is far from 100%. Worst is probably Christian Schoyen as Jonathan. His English is far from good and it's really annoying. Sean Young is OK, Danny Trejo rather good and Jeff Conaway simply good. A big surprise to me was Kristian Valen who did a much better performance then I'd expected and was among the better ones.

Alan Filterman does a nice job with the cinematography. Doesn't exactly qualify for an Oscar, but it's good enough. Nothing stands out as really good, but nothing stands out as really bad either. I didn't really like the editing. Some cheap and easy-way-out-solutions there and it could've been better. It's easy to see this is not the most experienced editor.

As for music it's simple, yet strong. I really liked the score as it brought out the feel and mood of the film very well. Bryan Galvez has done a good job there. They also use a lot of non-original music, but they do so wisely. They don't put too much focus on this music and mainly just let it run in the background and so they make the music fit the scene not trying to fit the scene to the music.

All in all Living the Dream is not gonna be one of the best film this year. If so something would be very wrong. Technically it's no wonder. It's below average. However, where this movie succeeds is telling an interesting and good story. That's why you watch this movie and this proves that it's the quality of the story not the size of the budget that decides if the will turn out good or not. I can't quite decide what rating to give it. However, my first response was 6 or 7, but ended on a 6 simply to say, this is as low as it goes.
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Aurora (1998)
3/10
Why did I watch this?
16 May 2006
Picked this up in a two movie DVD set for a buck or so. Didn't really look promising and as I started to watch the movie I was just glad it didn't cost me more! Low budget may be an excuse, but it's not a very good one. The worst thing about this movie is the writing. I can handle slow paced movies, but this isn't slow paced. Most of the time nothing really happens. Movies never makes me sleep, but this one came pretty close. While the idea in it self might be OK, the writing just doesn't cut it. There are not enough development of characters or plots to make this a good feature film. They just make time pass by all these pictures of the characters doing some walking some chit chat and stuff that don't add anything to the movie. With that said this movie might make a good short film.

As for special effects, really there's nothing special about them. They're bad. To be honest, they could have and should have cut the storm thing part from the script. As said before, it don't give the movie anything, it offers no challenge to the characters it's just there to look good. And it don't.

Cinematography, however is one of the best things about this movie. It's all over good, with some enjoyable shots. However, the lightning could've been better, especially at night. It looks cheep.

Production design, sets, locations and costumes also need some credit. It's not that bad. Rather nice actually compared other things.

The acting is OK. For a low budget movie they got OK actors. They say their lines loud and clear, but thats about it. Then again with lack of characters and action what else is there for them to do. Never the less a little more acting wouldn't hurt.

All in all this is not the movie you want to spend any kind of money or time on. This is a movie far down on you watch list.
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Osmosis Jones (2001)
6/10
Not bad
16 April 2006
Frank is not the kind of guy who thinks too much about his health. Give him junk food and beer and he's happy. However, this lifestyle gives the inhabitants of Frank a hard time and when he catches a cold one of the white blood cells, Osmosis Jones, and a cold tablet, Drixorial, teams up as they believe there is more going on then just a cold. At the same time the mayor of Frank is doing what he can to cover it up as just a brief cold to avoid panic as the election is coming up.

Osmosis Jones is a clever little movie combining animation and real life to tell the story. While the story may be a little cliché with the girl and the dad and maybe a little simple. This film may not need more then that. There is also a very obvious moral in there; Live healthy and take care of your body. Maybe a little too obvious I think, but it is a kids movie.

The acting is great. Chris Rock is great as Osmosis Jones and Bill Murry is a good Frank. A young Elena Franklin is also very good as Shane, Franks daughter.

This movie is both funny and smart. I guess if you're a kid it offers a great tool in learning some basic stuff about the body's immune system. I guess the movie takes it's inspiration from the French animation series Once Upon a Time... Life witch did much of the same pretty excellent and has a story similar to that of the Norwegian Body Troopers. They've also been inspired to spoof and reference a lot of other movies too.

Osmosis Jones is a movie with nice animation and nice design. It has humor, nice characters and is quite enjoyable to watch.
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The Unit (2006–2009)
Entertaining, but you've seen most of it before
13 April 2006
Based on various comments here on IMDb I guess you'll hate this show if you're in the military. To anyone else, however it's entertaining.

The writing is OK. There is always technical and factual errors in a show like this, but it's fiction after all and as far as the storytelling goes it's well written, but still has room for improvement. Combining the stories of the home front as well as the front of the war it becomes interesting and more then just a "shoot 'em up show". As of yet, the characters have more to go on and hopefully they'll develop in the next few episodes. As of episode four or so this show suffers a great lack of characters. You still miss those down to earth characters you can relate to. Having little knowledge about the reality the show is based on I can't say realistic it all is, but it is believable enough. You buy most of the stuff presented on the show. Never the less it's Hollywood and you don't forget that while watching the show. Somewhere you've seen most of this before so this show offers really very little new.

While the show may miss characters this is not the actors fault. In fact the actors does a good job. Dennis Haysbert is an excellent actor joined by Robert Patrick. Also notably is Regina Taylor and Max Martini. The rest of the cast is OK. I didn't really notice them and when watching the second episode I actually asked "who's that guy?". They're given little focus and remains in the shadows of to the others.

Technically it's a good show with nice cinematography, editing and music. Well made effects and nicely executed action scenes.

All in all you're not missing out on something big by not watching the show. It's entertaining, but that's as far as it goes. Being early yet, this show might improve, but it will never be the show of the century. With all the other successful drama series this season I doubt if The Unit will be picked up for a second season. So, give it a glance now while it's still there.
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G.I. Jane (1997)
6/10
Could've been a 'must see', but ends up as 'worth a look'
12 April 2006
G.I. Jane follows a female soldier as she train to become a SEAL operative, not knowing her career is all just a political stunt from a Senator.

This movie don't know where it's going. Is it a pure action movie or is it trying to be critical and political? While the idea in it self is interesting; let's follow a female training to become a Navy SEAL, the writing just isn't good enough. First off all you know from the second you sit down how it's going to end. Then it tries to join a political story with the personal story and don't do it very well. It simply doesn't know which one is the number one story and so the movie has problems focusing. It starts off strong looking like a political thriller just to have this story put on ice and forgotten. It's first brought back up when they realize they have to tie up the loose end it made. They aim too high making the political plot too big and the connection a bit too vague. They could've made a own movie about it and left it out of this one. The dialog contains too many cheesy punchlines witch creates a funny moment, but kind of takes the credibility from the dialog and makes it seem fake. The film tries to be realistic and accurate, but the dialog along with logical errors and other errors and mistakes becomes so obvious and such a contrast that it just makes it funny and makes you take it less serious.

Demi Moore does a really good job as Lt. Jordan O'Neil and the over all acting is good. Viggo Mortensen deliver as Master Chief John James 'Jack' Urgayle and the rest of the cast is nothing less than good. They bring this movie up one or two levels, no doubt about it.

As for the music it's good in it self, but the use of it is rather odd. They use some pretty tense action music for some scenes set in a slow paced political meetings. No doubt it makes the scenes more action filled and make them seem less boring, but you're not used to the combination and it seems really odd and misplaced. As for action sequences, they're tense and good. The music is generally good, both the original and non-original.

The cinematography is all over good. The composition of the shots as well as the lightning is good, but what really caught my attention as really nice was the effects of the very quick shock zoom at the ambush near the end. They make good use of the camera and it's all quite nice to look at.

I'd also have to mention the production design witch struck me as quite cool and fitting. The locations on the beach and in Libanon is quite nice as well.

G.I. Jane is not the film of the century, nor the decade. The back of my DVD-case reads: "If you are to watch one action movie in your life, G.I. Jane is it!". I can think of a couple of others I'd see before this one, but it's not a waste of time. I'd say this movie don't use it's full potential and had the writing been better this could've been a must see. Still it ends up as one that's just "worth a look".
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High Octane: Detonate (2005 Video)
5/10
Bang Tommy hits the gas, warp speed.
31 March 2006
I just accidentally caught this one. Not knowing quite what it was it was a bit odd at first, but when I got used to the mix of cars humor, two Indian dudes and the side plot it was entertaining.

This is kind of a documentary show, only it's not. Ketzal Sterling takes a trip around the globe to find car enthusiasts and race cars. It focus on cars and horsepower and stuff that I, who is not that into cars, really don't care about. However, Ketzal makes it all interesting and rather funny by making small stories out of it. In addition there is the side plot witch is just stupid, however, makes for some funny situations and nice driving. As for the two Indian guys. Well, not funny really.

While the acting may suck the driving is 100%. And after all it is the driving this movie focus on. Ketzals narration is very nice. Good written and well told.

The cinematography is very nice. It varys a bit, though. Some shots are technically quite good and looks delicious with nice camera moves, while others are not so good with a bit shaky camera and such. Not a problem, but still it's there and it don't make a perfect movie. But, I would have to say the over all cinematography is nothing to be ashamed of. It's kind of a documentary in the way it's made and so the cinematography is good taking that into consideration.

As for the music I'm not really into techno, but I have to say it really fits this movie. I actually enjoy it.

All in all this is an enjoyable movie. It's not a traditional car show. It doesn't just focus on the technical car stuff, but add a lot of humor and pointless plots that makes this movie different from all other car shows and make it more enjoyable for people not that hard core into the whole car scene. If you like car this is a must see. If you're not into car you might still like it.
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Surface (2005–2006)
I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one
30 March 2006
Having only seen a couple of episodes all I can say is that this looks very promising.

The series follows a marine biologist, Dr. Laura Daughtery as she seeks a creature from the deep oceans and fights the government conspiracy to cover up it's existence. Meanwhile 14 year old Miles is just coping while hiding away his new pet. An offspring of the creature from below. Then there is Rich, who's brother was killed by the creature while the two of them were diving. Now he, like all the others, is searching for answers. What is that creature from the deep ocean?

Surface really impressed me. At first glance it didn't look anything out of the ordinary, however it turned out to be. The story is good. It makes way for many twists and turns and it brings in so many different characters. It's fun to see how this change from government conspiracy one minute, to family drama the next and how it does so with success. In other word a show with good writing. The many different stories makes it possible to keep the suspense up and they do so nicely.

The characters are very likable and they are portrayed by likable actors. They've done a very nice job with the casting. The actors fit the roles and their acting is good.

The cinematography is good. Some really nice lightning in there, but don't expect something really out of the ordinary. It's good. It's what you'd expect of a good series. The art direction and over all design and look of the show is also really nice.

As for effects, most of them are really well done. You just enjoy them. They are believable and good. They mix CGI and real footage really nicely. The only exception was a volcano eruption. Quite what that was I do not know. It was a simple bluescreen effect, but was incredibly poorly done. It looked like a no-budget student film (no offence to no-budget student film). However, everything else is top notch.

W.G. Snuffy Walden and Joseph Williams has done a great job with the score. In fact you don't think about the music. You don't notice it and that is a good thing. It means you're caught up. The music sets the mood and boost the action and does a good job.

All in all I can say I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one. It is entertaining and it might have potential.
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Knight Rider: Knight of the Phoenix: Part 1 (1982)
Season 1, Episode 1
5/10
OK to watch
25 March 2006
David Hasslehof and his talking car may not be the brightest moments in television, but not the darkest neither.

While it may have been a good idea at the time, this just doesn't hold up today. The story is all through silly and would maybe make it in a children's cartoon today. The beginning was really vague and confusing. It kind of made sense later, but still. It's never really believable and you never really forget you're just watching TV. You'll also find the regular clichés in there. Like the take-out-five-guys-alone-in-a-bar-fight-cliché, meet-sexy-girl-with-kid-cliché and not to mention the rich-and-powerful-secret-organization-cliché.

The acting is OK. It's acting and there is no doubt about it. The characters are OK. They make a character of the car and that is good.

The stunts and special effects are obvious, you see the ramps for the jumps and the driver who is not supposed to be there. All together it's not very impressive, but it's fun enough to watch.

As for cinematography it's OK. No shots is bad and here and there, there is a cool one and the lightning is nice. The music is not bad neither. In fact I'd say that theme is the best thing with this whole movie. The rest of the score is good too.

All together this is not quality TV at it's best. Never the less, I found it too be rather entertaining and OK to watch.
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Without a Trace: Check Your Head (2006)
Season 4, Episode 17
Totally strange episode
13 March 2006
OK, this is the first time I'm commenting on a single episode, but after seeing this and reading that people disliked it I just couldn't help my self.

I actually liked this episode. It was something totally unexpected so I see why some might get disappointed. This episode is a less serious, easy watched one. The story is simple and it's really more of a clishé and the whole episode is kind of a romantic comedy with a twist. The writing is not the best you'll see, but the acting is good.

From the first moment I could tell this episode was different, it kind of had this humorous feel to it. All through the episode there are these small jokes and the great acting and the looks they send and the way they deliver their lines makes it all really funny.

This is a really strange episode. It is really the least you would expect from this show. I can see if you're expecting a standard rock solid episode this might be disappointing and I believe this to be one of those episodes you either hate or like.

The story is about a agoraphobic lesbian who goes missing. This I guess could've been a really serious episode exploring and provoking in one way or another with this whole homosexuality theme, but instead they go for a humorous twist. I mean, Jack and Danny singing a long to "That's amore" got to be funny!

I think a quote by Danny is really suitable to sum up this episode in every way:"We're morbid, Jack. Unless something really bad is happening to somebody it just doesn't feel like a day at the office. It's a nice change."
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8/10
A must see for sci-fi fans and fans of film in general
6 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I would consider this a must see flick for any fan of the sci-fi genre of for movies in general. Yes, it is not perfect. Every movie has it's flaws.

Let's start with the story. An alien from another world comes to Earth and lands in Washington D.C. Along he has brought a huge and scary looking robot. What exactly he want's no one knows. He claim he comes in peace and demands to speak with the leaders. All the leaders... Of the whole world... At once. His mission is to speak of peace and tell the leaders and the people of Earth that as long as they fight among themselves nobody cares, but if they should attempt to bring their war eager habits into space and thereby threaten other planets measures will be taken against Earth to ensure future peace in the rest of space.

The script is good, but maybe a little less conversation and a little more action would have pleased. Almost the whole movie is basically talk and so it may be a little slow. Yet, this makes it a "simple" movie, a plot focused movie and it's this that makes this film stand out from most other sci-fi films at the time and even still to day. There are also a couple of other minor aspect of the script that could've been done different and perhaps better. However, the story and idea behind the movie was and still is original and good and you get caught up with it. All in all this makes a good result.

One thing that stands out is the visual. First of all the cinematography with good lightning and nice shots and then there is the excellent special effects. The opening and closing of the spaceship is looking good and the disappearance of various items is really impressive. Then there is the design. The exterior and interior of the spaceship is really good looking and well made. The lightning in the corridor is really nice and it all joins forces and becomes a really good looking movie.

The actors does a good job. Michael Rennie is memorable as Klaatu and Billy Gray is good as Bobby Benson. Also Patricia Neal is good as Helen Benson. Good believable acting in that good old style.

Bernard Herrmann's score is good. It lifts the scenes to a whole new level, bringing a nice sci-fi feel to them. The all over sound editing is quite good.

What makes this a must see is maybe not as much it's story although it is a good and classic one and has a very relevant message. What, in my mind as a film in general and also a sci-fi fan, makes this a must see it's the influence it has had on the sci-fi genre. At the time it brought sci-fi to a new level. This movie and aspects of it has made way for and been inspiration for other films and series.
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Entertaining, educational and the best of it's kind
5 March 2006
To be honest I was surprised there were not more comments on this series. It's a true gem and a classic. Even if it's nearly 30 years old it's still one of the most entertaining and best children's series.

They have shown this on Norwegian TV several times. I can remember watching this every Sunday morning as one of my favorite shows. First of all it's an excellent written series with an idea of combining education and entertainment. Often a doomed combination, but the way it's pulled off in this series is incredible. They succeed in making it both entertaining and educational. You follow a group of character through the different stages of mankind. It's the same characters and so you get to know them throughout the series. They also use a narrator and include him as a character of his own in the show. Making him interesting and funny rather than just a boring narrator from a kids perspective.

The animation is also good. They characters look of the character matches up with who they are. It's well animated, still by todays standards.

As for the educational aspect you get to see history. It's as simple as that. What they do it put these characters into history making one of them Moses one episode and Julius Caesar in the next. They recreate human history as it's supposed to have happened in their own universe with the help of a few characters.

I consider this series as a true classic and one of the best children series of all time. Unfortunately it would seem that it is being forgotten as those who saw it are growing up.
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Deadline Torp (2005 TV Movie)
6/10
Could've been and should've been so much better
4 March 2006
I think maybe I had too high hopes for this series. At first I was a bit disappointed.

The story is based on the events of an actual Norwegian robbery and hostage situation back in '94 with a dramatic outcome. The story in it self is quite good and strong. Better than many Hollywood action/thrillers. However, the writing could've been a little better. Some of the lines seem a little fake and the characters could've been better. It seems they are not sure who the lead character is. They don't build up the characters good enough. At the end it's the story that saves this series.

Many of Norways most notable actors are to be found in this series. Never the less the all over performance isn't impressive. This might be because of the lack of characters. They are not believable enough. There are something that reminds me that they're just actors.

One of the things that bugged me the most and that I was most disappointed about was the cinematography. Probably (at least by the look of it) the series is shot on video. In it self not a bad thing, but I've seen better looking footage on the regular evening news. The lightning is not bad and the composition is good, but the low depth of field and the weak colors and the over all look of the picture is kind of cheap. The though behind it is probably to make it seem more real and give it a documentary/live news look, witch is a good though, but I'm sad to say it fail. The hand-held camera, however, works. The series has a bit of the 24 feeling with hand-held camera and multiple screens. They don't overdo it and it works quite well. It fits the series and the action. However, you don't get close to the characters. As with the acting you don't get caught up and feel anything for them. When watching you know it's just TV.

The music is quite well done. Yet, in it's simplicity it's strong and powerful. It catches the action and creates a very good atmosphere and feeling.

Deadline Torp has a strong story and is quite unique in many ways. As I watched it got better, but never quite got to where I expected it to be. Never the less it's a OK mini series, but unless you're Norwegian you probably won't have that much pleasure of it.
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Hostage (2005)
7/10
Good
28 February 2006
After a hostage situation gone bad, Jeff Talley puts his negotiator career aside and moves outside of LA to take the job as Chief of Police in the small town of Bristo Camino. When three young small time criminals screws up what was going to be a simple burglary he once again got a hostage situation on his watch. In addition his own family is kidnapped to ensure Talley's cooperation. There is something inside the house the mob want.

Hostage is a nice mix of thriller and action. The story is simple and straight forward with some twists and turns that are rather interesting. The solutions are original and not with those classic clichés. It manage to bring in several interesting characters and explore these without anyone steeling the show from Talley. The characters are both well written, believable and well portrayed.

Bruce Willis is Chief of Police, Jeff Talley and a good one I might add. His performance is very good and who would expect less. He finds a nice balance between the die hard cop and the soft human family father. He is not afraid to show feelings and it's been a while since we've seen him scared. There are no doubt why the two young actors Michelle Horn and Jimmy Bennett was casted as Jennifer and Tommy Smith. They are excellent and impressive. One last actor that clearly stands out is Ben Foster who gives and chilling psycho performance as Mars Krupcheck.

Visually Hostage is a quite good looking film. There are some really nice shots and some really nice lightning. The interior of the house is good looking and over all production design is good. As for special effect they are impressive and well made.

The music is a classic type of score by Alexandre Desplat. It's effective and is part of creating a good atmosphere.

Hostage is a nice action thriller and it's definitely worth a watch. All together a film with an original touch without those typical clichés.
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5/10
Not the movie it could've been
28 February 2006
A Chicken Little is given a hard time after he tells the story of how a piece of the sky fell down on his head. Nobody believes him, but that was before the alien invasion took place.

This is a strangely written film. It could've ended in the middle of the film (after the baseball match), and you would have had a standard feel-good cartoon. However, this is when the whole story twist and the film goes on for 50 more minutes with what would seem a totally different story. The writing is not the best and the story is not that cool.

There's not much to say about the actors. They all do a good job. The voice work is excellent and they bring feeling and sympathy to the characters.

The animation is also quite good and the design is also quite nice. It's detailed and good, yet funny looking and cartoonish.

Chicken Little is not the hilarious movie you might think. Sure it's funny now and then, but we've seen better. I was a bit disappointed. What was funny was a bunch of spoofs of other movies and those small details and lines here and there. However, this can not save the movie. It looks like this was a project given to a bunch of apprentices over at Disney. All in all it's not exactly a bad movie, but it's far from the movie it could've been.
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Event Horizon (1997)
6/10
To hell and back
27 February 2006
Event Horizon follows the crew of the rescue ship, "Lewis and Clark", as they embark on a mission to respond to a distress signal emitted by a ship that disappeared seven years ago, the Event Horizon. At the time it disappeared, the Event Horizon was testing out a new drive allowing it to create a wormhole for instantaneous travel. However, something went terrible wrong.

This is a rather good written film. All the elements to make a successful horror film is there and so are the characters. No, the story is not all too great, in fact if you think about it it is rather stupid and the characters could've been better, but all in all it could have been a lot worse. The only good thing about this story is that it's set on a space ship, in a locked environment. It is really not the story that is scary about this movie. Towards the end when the solution comes and there are a lot of story going on it actually starts to look more like an action movie. What makes this movie scary is the mood and the atmosphere.

The acting is OK. The characters are not great so you don't get this connection too them and the actors does a decent job in bringing them to life. Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill are too good leads and the others does a decent job as well.

When it comes to cinematography there are nothing special that stands out. It's all over good with some occasional cool shots, but you've seen them all before. There are nothing too great and original about them, but they are good and along with very good lightning they are an essential part of what creates the atmosphere witch makes this movie scary.

Something that needs to be given a lot of credit for this movie being as scary as it is, is the production design. The interior of the Event Horizon and also the "Clark" for that matter is excellent. It is creepy and good looking.

The third element besides cinematography and production design that creates the atmosphere and mood and makes this movie creepy is the music/sound design. The music is good and moody, but they also make the absence of music a powerful tool.

As for special effects they are good. The CGI is nothing groundbreaking. It's simply good looking, not too obvious and it does it's job.

What we have here is not a movie with a scary movie. It has a good amount of gore, but like The Thing it's the excellent atmosphere and mood that makes it scary. Don't pay too much attention to the story, it's not worth it. I'd recommend this one if you like a good horror film. I think you'll be in for a decent scare.
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Walk the Line (2005)
9/10
Rock Solid
25 February 2006
I expected a movie of finest quality when I sat down to see this and I'm glad to say it exceeded my expectations! Based on real life legend Johnny Cash, Walk The Line tells the story of his turbulent life of drugs, love and music.

This is a well written film. Based on a couple of books and the real life of Johnny Cash it has a pretty dramatic and strong story to tell and it succeeds in telling this story really well. The characters are strong and you get to know them, love them and hate them. It's believable and touches you.

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash is a truly great fit. His performance is nothing less than wonderful. He is believable and he got the likeness to portray Johnny Cash in every way. Reese Witherspoon also delivers a rock solid performance as June Carter. As for the rest of the cast they're also very good. Most notably is Ginnifer Goodwin and Robert Patrick as Vivian Cash and Ray Cash. They do a fine job as supporting actors.

When it comes to the technical there is also nice things to say. The cinematography is good looking and the lightning is really nice. It is a really good looking film. It spans a cross several decades and they do a good job in keeping everything is style. Hair, costumes and sets, all goes to the decade.

As for the music, you'll get to hear a lot of Johnny Cash. No surprise there. However, they also make use of others like Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. They make good use of the music and when the real music ends a good soundtrack by T-Bone Burnett kicks in.

Walk The Line is without a doubt a movie worthy of Johnny Cash. It's all in all a rock solid film that I truly recommend. Whether you like the Man in Black or not, whether you grew up with his music or not, I recommend this movie because in the end this is a story about people.
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Fastlane (2002–2003)
Just simple entertainment
18 February 2006
When seeing this show you can't help thinking Miami Vice. It has very much in common and it's not trying to hide it. They've got inspiration from it and they obviously show references to Miami Vice. The pilot contains tons of references and a story similar to the pilot of Miami Vice. Never the less Fastlane is a show that can stand on it's own with good stories and good looks. However, if you're a fan of Miami Vice you probably won't like this.

Fastlane follows the two undercover cops Deaqon 'Deaq' Hayes and Donovan 'Van' Ray. They are recruited to a "secret" branch of the police. They take down the lowest and highest criminals in LA with a new approach to law enforcement: "You don't drop cover, you never flash a badge. Everything we seize we keep. Everything we keep we use".

The stories are OK. The are thrilling and the writing is not bad. They mix drama, comedy and action. Deaq and Van are two good characters. They are funny and goes well together. Of course this show has it's flaws. Some elements are really stupid and unrealistic and it drags the whole show down a bit.

As for the two actors Peter Facinelli and Bill Bellamy they fits these roles good. Their performances are good and they manage to mix the funny part, the action part and the drama part very nicely.

The editing for this show is quite out of the ordinary. First of all it's nicely shot. The pictures are good looking with nice lightning and composition. Then there is the editing. They use a lot of slow motion and have this weird switch back and forth from widescreen to 4:3 to several pictures at once. In any other series this would just look stupid, but on Fastlane it kind of works. This way of editing fits show and the way it's mixed with music it becomes a unique look and style for the show. However, they kind of overdo the whole fancy editing thing a bit. It's cool and all, but that cool it's not.

All in all Fastlane can be OK. It's not the best on TV and it aims at younger people, but if you take it for what it is, just simple entertainment it can be an enjoyable show.
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My Name Is Earl (2005–2009)
Karma. You gotta love it!
28 January 2006
My Name Is Earl follows Earl Hickey, a typical low life who discovers karma and decides to turn his life around. He makes a list of all the bad things he's done and now he's gonna make up for it.

The stories are good. Some are really crazy and some are more normal, but what they all have in common is that they are really funny. The series is well written with a few well written and well used characters.

Jason Lee is great as Earl. He fits this role just perfect and the acting is good and believable. This goes for the whole cast. They preform good and goes really well together. Ethan Suplee does a really good and funny brain-dead portray of Randy.

The music in the show is cool. The original music is good and fit the show very well and the use of none original music is a nice touch. They succeed in finding really stupid songs that supports the action.

All together this make up a great good comedy. One of the best in a while and no doubt one of the best new series. It's funny and well acted and with a lot of potential when it comes to stories. Let's hope this one sticks around for a while. As for my advice: Watch it!
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Seven Days (1998–2001)
Let's do it again!
27 January 2006
To make a series with a story based on time travel is quite tricky. There are a lot of theories and logic to consider. Seven Days may not always get this right. It certainly has it flaws and errors, but if you don't take it all to serious and don't think too much about it this show will be quite entertaining and enjoyable.

Frank Parker is pulled out of a secret mental institution and trained to be the chrononaut in a secret government project called Backstep. From the remains of the Roswell crash they have managed to build a device that can send one man seven days back in time. Under NSA control a Backstep is issued to correct events concerning national security.

If you take this series all too serious you will get disappointed cause this show don't take it self all that serious. This series is a nice mix of action, sci-fi and comedy. This blending is nice and well done and the writing is generally good. It could've been a lot better, but the nice punchlines and great characters make up for a occasional less good story. Most of the stories are good. Not all are original, but it's entertaining.

The cast is good. Jonathan LaPaglia does a good job in portraying Frank Parker. He mix the insane, sane and comic really well. Along with Justina Vail as Dr. Vukavitch the two make a pretty pair of characters and actors. They go well together and kind of steals the show. The rest of the cast is great too and they go well together. The general performance is good, but there are a little miss here and there.

Scott Gilman has done a very nice job scoring this series. The music is fitting and really gets you in the right mood. The theme is kicking and cool and so is the rest of the music.

The cinematography is OK. There are an occasional shot that sticks out as really nice, but in general it's nothing really special. The lightning is at times very good and over all good. When it comes to CGI and effects this series has quite a few. The sphere and time travel effects are good, but the for instance the CGI explosions are rather obvious fake and less good, but they do the job and it could have looked a lot worse.

Over all Seven Days is an entertaining and enjoyable show. If you don't take it too serious and don't get caught up in the science and logic (where you'll find a lot of errors) you can safely watch this show. It's not a must see, but it's certainly not a bad thing to watch when nothing else is on.
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