Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Kristin Scott Thomas,
A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
Two stories for the price of one: Lenny works in a video shop and tries to get aquainted with the waitress Lea. Leo beats his pregnant wife, Louise, which is a VERY bad idea, as her brother, Louis, is a violent racist.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Rikke Louise Andersson
In the 16th century in the Cévennes, a horse dealer by the name of Michael Kohlhaas leads a happy family life. When a lord treats him unjustly, he raises an army and puts the country to fire and sword in order to have his rights restored.
1000 AD, for years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together he and Are escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One Eye and Are board a Viking vessel, but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that clears only as the crew sights an unknown land. As the new world reveals its secrets and the Vikings confront their terrible and bloody fate, One Eye discovers his true self.Written by
But I'll try, how about horrible or awful or abysmal? No, those are too gentle for what has to be one of most self absorbed, pretentious, and poorly directed films I've ever seen and definitely the absolute worst of the Viking genre.
I stumbled upon this film not knowing what to expect beyond the brief description of the movie in the summary and a few of the rosier reviews would lead one to believe that his is a piece of life changing existentialist art. Those reviews are every bit as vacuous and pretentious as the aimless direction provided by Nicolas Refn. How self involved, how self important, how narcissistic was Refn's directing? We could have spent 90 minutes watching Refn masturbate on film, and in essence that's just what we did.
Let us start with the historical inaccuracies which abound in this "work of art" to such a degree that one must not only suspend disbelief, one must take it out into the woods and leave it for dead. When directing a period film it's not always necessary to get every little detail right, but it would be nice if you could at least get the basics down but even that is beyond Refn. In fact he does manage to achieve the near impossible, getting almost nothing right. The boat, the weapons, the armor, their hygiene, the settlement, their customs...honestly next to "Valhalla Rising" the 1954 classic "Prince Valiant" is practically historical documentary. Well strike one, if we can't have even rudimentary accuracy then at least we'll have an interesting story right? Right? Wrong. What we have instead is a display of Refn's conceit as he presents us with a script that is half art house cinema and half epic drama, and yet it is both uninteresting and banal. About half way through the film it suddenly dawned on me WHY it was so badly written. It is badly written because Refn had no clue how to write either an art film or an epic, so what he did was write to formula what he thought an art film and an epic should have. You can almost hear him checking off the list "...mysterious warrior (check), barbaric Vikings (check), filthy Christian crusaders (check), clash of cultures (check), existential struggle (check), recurring themes (check)..." and the result is a hackneyed script written in a paint by numbers manner that has neither soul nor inspiration. You can tell, too, because as good as the acting is you simply cannot bring yourself to care about anyone in the film. The pacing is atrocious, the dialog bounces between being merely bad to painfully over wrought, and much of the acting is tired and uninspiring. The saving grace of the film is the wonderful cinematography, oh, and the scenery is nice, except when the actors are chewing it of course.
All in all this was an immense waste of time and I'd not even have bothered to review it except the people who keep writing these glowing "oh it's a life altering masterpiece" need to be balanced out with a healthy dose of reality.
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