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20 Weeks (2017)
Seems like the verys same as the German movie 24 weeks
9 April 2018
I saw the German film "24 Weeks", and the plot is exactly the same. I recommend you checking out that one as well.
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Amnesia (II) (2014)
Intense chamber play in remote cabin
27 March 2018
Amnesia, written and directed by Nini Bull Robsahm, is an intenaepsychological thriller about the fear in a relationship.

On a weekend trip to a remote island cabin the psychopathic Thomas loses his memory after bumping his head, and Kathrine, which is suppressed in her partnership, sees an opportunity to get out of the unhealthy relationship. She hides his ID and wallet, and it really seems he doesn't have the faintest idea who he is. Or does he?

This starts off a roller coaster of a nightmare for Kathrine, played by Pia Hjelta. Her boyfriend is played by Christian Rubeck. Both doing a great job.

The play between them is intense and raw, and you never really knows what to expect from this unhealthy relationship. The film is kept in shallow dark colors, and the nature feel bleak and brutal, though still beautiful. And the intense situation promises a solution.
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Hjertestart (2017)
Can affection grow out of nothing?
27 December 2017
Handle with care by Norwegian director Arild Andresen has it's original title Hjertestart, which should translate to "heartstart" or the starting of a heart, which is the far better title of this film, than the international english version title.

Kristoffer Joner plays one of the main roles, as he did in director Andresen's fabulous The Orheim Company which I rated 9/10. The other is played by young Kristoffer Bech. As father and adoptive son they are a the little remains of a family after the death of their most important family member.

In the role as the father, Kjetil, we meet a troubled man after the loss of his wife. He goes to psychological treatment, where he reveals that he has trouble in finding affection for his adoptive son, Daniel, being adopted by him and the wife Camilla. It's obvious that his life is on hold, which also affects his small adoptive son, which in his own way misses the mother just as much. They are not able to communicate, and hasn't been able to talk out the tragedy in their lives. This soon leads to another crises, before he decide to go back to his son's native country, Colombia, to try to find Daniel's biological mother in hope of delivering him back!

Joner plays well, as always, being able to portray the mixed emotions the father snows towards his son, as well as his own well being. The film is well acted also by the other main characters, which really all makes this to be a very watchable and heartfelt story. Marlon Moreno does a fabulous role as the Colombian contact which helps out in the detective work in Bogotá. The film has good tension throughout.

This is director Arild Andresen's third feature movie, after the through out charming The Liverpool Goalie and the profoundly heart breaking and also uplifting The Orheim Company. It's very clear that Andresen is another Norwegian directorial star. This film he also has been co-writer.

This film bombed at the box office due to lack of marketing, which is really to bad, because it's well worth a watch!
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Den 12. mann (2017)
A story of fighting spirit and survival
25 December 2017
Den 12. mann / 12th man is a different retelling of the story about the flight of Jan Baalsrud, hunted by the Nazi occupants after a sabotage action hiding important papers. The story was told from Baalsrud's angle in the 1957 Academy Award nominee-movie Ni Liv (Nine lives) by director Arne Skouen, This time it's Hollywood director Harald Zwart, known for his comedies and the rather good remake of The Karate Kid, and he has made something he has never done, a survival drama and war film.

And he has succeeded well in telling a story about a hero, which became so due to good helpers in good believing Norwegians, being able to assist him on the two month struggle of a journey through very harsh winter terrain and weather.

The film tells the story of not only Baalsrud, but also the 11 other which were alle killed by the Nazi's, and also tells the story about the survival spirit of a war-occupied country. This film is actually much more accurate than the original 1957-film, and completely differently told, which serves both the story and the film well.

Debuting Thomas Gullestad is amazing in the lead, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is excellent as the German Kurt Stage. And the rest of the cast does fabulous as well.

Well worth a watch!
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Revenge (2015)
Tense and realistic tale of retribution
22 December 2017
Revenge (original Norwegian title Hevn) is a rape revenge flick based upon Ingvar Ambjørnsen-novel "Dukken i taket", and the debut feature of film maker Kjersti G. Steinsbø.

Under false identity Rebekka takes in at an idyllic small country hotel by the Norwegian fjords. Saying she is a travel correspondent, she is taken in as a queen. but she has false pretentions. She is seeking revenge of her sister's rape back when she was thirteen years old. She is ready to ruin the perpetrators life. How far is she willing to go?

The film has many strong points, not only the breath taking western Norwegian nature, but also the tension which builds up slowly. I liked it, still the film is afr from being a perfect revenge flick. Difficult to point out what's not making the mark, but if you are patient, you'll get your reward.
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Weird, smart and Lynchian thriller-drama from talented director
18 November 2017
Kill me Please (Mat-me por favor) is a different film. A youth sex comedy with more mystery than comedy, and more kissing than sex. Still there are some good laughs, and a couple of good screams. You really never know where the film will take you, and as such I found it very exiting.

In Barra de Tijuana in the richer outer parts of Rio de Janeiro we meet a gang of usually bored youths full of hormones, living a sheltered life. Well, that's until a serial killer turn up in the neighborhood. Young Bia is very fascinated by the killings, especially when she and her best friends find one one the girls in the bush, just before her life runs out. Bia is obsessed with sex, and her cute boyfriend Paulo, gives in to her needs, though he'd really like to keep away from sex until marriage, and tries to get Bia a bit more religious.

More shouldn't be said, but the film is filled with great stuff, well filmed, and great and well suited soundtrack. he film is never boring, and we find a lot of mystery going on. Bia's mysterious brother is also taking a great part.

The writer and director Anita Rocha da Silveira has made an exiting, beautiful, drama thriller with horror elements which is difficult to forget, and is most certainly taking the Brazilian youth right on the head. She has told her inspirations are David Lynch, Dario Argento, Brian De Palma and Claire Denis, and this is quite obvious. Especially Lynch mystery can be found here.
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Daha (2017)
Profound, beautiful, sad and important from debuting director
17 November 2017
Daha, or in English More, is a near master piece of a Turkish movie, made by first time director Onur Saylak, which is an actor with some very good films in his portfolio. He is also a very good director, this film proves.

We meet 14 year old Gaza. Quite grown for his age, and we soon get to know why. He lives alone with his father which is a criminal, earning his money on human trade with refugees, forcing Gaza to join in as his co-worker. Gaza doesn't like this, and already in the opening of the film we get to know that the father is regarding himself as the most important man in the world. He's an upright swine, also treating his son like trash.

The film is beautifully filmed, and we have both great acting and great scenery, mixed with some nasty stuff when it comes to moral.

The film is very recommended, and even though it is severe, I would say anyone above twelve could watch it without being traumatized. This film gives out much reality about the refugee shipping over to Europe, and is well worth a watch.

Young Hayat Van Eck does a phenomenal job as young Gaza, but also the disgusting father is well played by Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan. Recommended!
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Lerd (2017)
Corruption-criticizing film smuggled out of Iran
15 November 2017
I attended this film at a packed theater at the Films From the South Festival (FFSF) in Oslo in November 2017, and this s the first of the films Mohammad Rasoulof has made that i've seen. this film was awarded at the Cannes Festival, and participated in the main program in FFSF, and was smuggled out of Iran. The director was to present the film at the festival, as well as doing a Q&A afterwards, but couldn't show due to his passport was taken away from him just before he was to leave.

The film is about a family of three trying to get by by using his land to produce fish, but is challenged by a mysterious company which corrupts the entire society, even the police and justice system. A film about the little man not ready to bow for the suppression. he actually has to join to get by.

This is a well made film, and not a very happy one. The story telling is quiet and quite slow, but has it's dramatic parts. A good and important film, from a re-known film maker in a country which needs this kind of films. Still the film had a little trouble in engaging me.
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Thelma (II) (2017)
A beautiful filmed masterpiece with mysteries bound in belief, fear and imagination
10 November 2017
Norwegian filmmakers (writer/director) Joachim Trier has made another great film together with Eskil Vogt. I simply loved Reprise and the last before this, Louder than Bombs. Oslo 31st of August is also very real though a sad story. Trier is a very promising director, getting better for each film released. But never has he and his writing companion Eskil Vogt made anything as profound as this masterpiece.

Already in the opening scene this film grips you hard in the neck, and keeps the grip through. What kind of family is this? Why is the father so controlling? Is it something other than love?

We meet young Thelma old enough to go studying in Oslo, but we sense that the family don't like to send her there. Thelma is a fragile, religious girl, from a heavily religious family, hiding some secret, or secrets. Moe shouldn't be told, other than it seem that when Thelma falls in love her burdens are too much for her. She feels profound shame about her feelings.

This is a film difficult to categorize. It's a drama-thriller, with mysterious parts, and even some horror elements or if you like some paranormal stiff - if you chose that. Because the film lets you decide. What's wrong with Thelma?

The film beautifully shot, with lovely camera work and angles. Some scenes are sublime. As is some effects. The CGI is also sublime. Simply immaculate, and totally believably made. Eili Harboe is excellent in the main role, as are the others.

The film is very original, still it reminds in parts of other films with troubled girls, like Carrie and films like that.

The film has many sides, all positive. It's exciting, mysterious, artful, beautiful, complex, mind-bending, thrilling, tragic, creepy and sensual film explores several different theories and possibilities, and makes you decide - What's happening to Thelma.

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The truth about the scandalous Qatar World Cup
7 November 2017
A film about the exploiting of construction workers from Africa and Asia, coming to build the football grounds for the scandalous and corrupt Qatar World Cup and the shallow background of making a worker's cup as sole band aid.

Working under severe and dangerous conditions they build the many new football stadiums before the world Cup, not happy with the food, the working conditions, nor the fact that they are modern slaves, in a desert country in severe lack of construction workers. They build for the rich, which are in their own playground, adding racist rules like disallowing them to even go into the buildings they build after 10 o'clock in the morning.

The only entertainment is the football cup which the different firms participate in, which is used for telling the world of great welfare benefits. Apart from that they like the cup, they are not happy, missing their family, being away for years, not earning enough to stop working. They are simply exploited as slaves with low wages and no time off, even for a single day or a date.

A meeting with the workers, their dreams, and their frustrations. Their wish for another life, and getting back their own country to build for their family.

The film is slow and well balanced only using text for the facts, and letting the workers talk.
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Spookers (2017)
A close watch on a crazy mad park
29 October 2017
A documentary movie about New Zealand family running a successful scare park in Rangitikei, in a large originally abandoned psychiatric hospital.

The former hospital housed more than 800 patients, and this history is now used as round material for a spooky place with lots of fun as well. Being open to people this is quite a unique place with lot of fun scares.

We get to meet the"inhabitants" which lay a lot of work in their scare park, either they are madmen, spooks, zombies or mad serial killers. They even use this acting as therapy.

A good watch about an interesting establishment.
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The Snowman (2017)
Way better on second watch
13 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The Snowman was right from the start panned with bad reviews. But I found this film was way better on the second viewing, just like Tomas Alfredsons Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy was. Exactly the same way! And that says a lot. Alfredson likes to do some subtle moves.

When I saw this at a large outdoor pre-screening at the film's location Rjukan two days before the world premiere, I must admit I agreed to the rather bad reviews saying it's a 3 or 4/10. There were too many strange things which didn't make sense to me. Whatæs up with coffee bean thing? Why snowmen? Why this and that seemingly unmotivated scene?

Well, I saw it again tonight, at peace with myself in a complete packed cinema, and everything was clear right from the start, though this film is in fact a murder mystery, and not a horror movie.

I even found the drunken police man Val Kilmer's role quite decent the second time, and much of the acting was superb. I must admin I found Charlotte Gainsbourg over-playing a couple of times, and so with young Michael Yates as Oleg, but probably something they were asked to do.

The photo is exquisite, the locations are interesting and beautiful, the cold and the feel is chilling, though i guess the film has been cut to much in the start. It's really difficult to follow what's happening in the first 1/3. More than this being a bad script or bad directing, I think it's but cut to pieces. Some parts makes no sense, before you the mystery bricks fell into place at the second view.

So i really recommend those of you who have questions after the first viewing to go see it, or more likely put it on, once more. It's really not that bad at all. It's actually a quite decent serial murder mystery thriller.

I also think this film is poised to be a box office success, though panned with the bad reviews, and so the makers, investors and actors will all laugh all the way to the bank. Maybe the film even will be labeled underrated in a few years. It wouldn't surprise me, now after my second view.

Go see it again! And if you only saw Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy one, make sure you also watch that one also a second time. You might say with some right that a film isn't good enough if you have to watch it twice to really appreciate it, but then again that's what some might say is a mystery.
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Absolutely thought provoking about unconditional basic income
4 October 2017
I never really believed in the idea of "free money" to everyone, or unconditional basic income, without working for it.

But this film triggers my interest. Fact: The world produces enough foods and goods to feed a happy world. Fact: The world is more than prosperous enough to end all inequality. Fact: The Walmart-family owns just as much as 160 mill. Americans. Fact: Lotto winners keep on working even if they don't have to. Fact: A tax on money- and finance-transactions will fix this inequality. Fact: It would boost the economy to give more people a decent income.

The system of today, where the richest get richer by the day, and the middle class can't even survive on the income of two badly paid jobs, we need a new system. Watch this film containing meaning of a lot of really smart people.
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A balanced look on the Svalbard dilemma
24 September 2017
this French documentary is a well made film about the dilemma of the world, narrowed down to the small city of Longyearbyen, with 2200 inhabitants. 3-400 of them works in the coal mining industry.

The film tells about who the environmental movement is trying to change this, though natural pricing now makes the coal mines non economical. Tourism and science still isn't able to take over.

Also all the snow mobiles and cars in Svalbard is addressed as a strange problem, since the Island only have 48 kilometers of roads.

the film shows well off these dilemmas, and shows a large bit of this exotic city as well, and is well worth a watch.
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Rare Swedish thriller about trafficking
11 July 2017
This 2007-thriller by Viking Johansson, featuring Thomas Glaving in the main role as David Frank. A man which is connected to a police man fighting to get his son out of the hands of a infamous human trafficking gang, was a pleasant surprise. Right from the start the film grabs you by the throat, when he intervenes in a situation, and escapes right in he second he is to be shot. We get to know that David himself has troubled background, born into a troubled family. He gets the help of the police due to his connection to a police man who took care of him back more than 20 years ago.

From there we follow his fight to get what he recently has discovered is his young son, Jim, out of the gangsters hands.

The film is not only exciting and well cast and acted, it's also very well photographed and is blessed with a very well suited and great soundtrack.

The film is made on a shoestring budget of only $ 4000, but looks like a million dollars. This film is both difficult to find on physical medias as well as in streaming and TV channels, and I had to see it on a DVD with no subtitles. This is surely a pity, since the film deserves better.
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Dream Empire (2016)
Behind the curtains of the gigantic Chinese building boom
2 July 2017
Dave Blorensteins's documentary Dream Empire is a well made behind-the- scenes documentary about the Chinese building boom, making enormous ghost cities.

The film maker himself has documented how he as a "white monkey" foreigner was very useful as a "musician" and "actor" for a small company renting him in to establish shows for getting people to buy some of the properties in newly built ghost cities.

The fact of privately built Chinese ghost cities are well documented, though Chinese authorities denies the fact. Actual built cities with buildings for millions of inhabitants built on farming land, where poor peasants are forced to move to give room for cities built without any economic foundations. Some of these cities are occupied by only 1/7th or 1/50th of the intended population.

The documentary reveals some of the human stories behind this boom which leaves a lot of dreams and dreams disillusioned.
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Barneraneren (2016)
Following a young criminal
2 July 2017
What young men do (Barneraneren) is a documentary by documentary film maker Jon Haukeland about a group of three teenage boys which was among 19 on the same age who was accused of robbing children in Groruddalen, an outer part of Oslo with a large part of immigrant population.

The film originally was tiles Child robbers in plural, but late editing must be the reason for this film to follow one of them mainly.

The main character, and the storyteller, is the 15 year old Noah. He has a criminal record for years back, of petty crimes, but turning 15 he will now be charged for the crimes, and with possible prison sentences as a result. The film starts with the arrest of Noah, and follows the case. He is named and one of the child-robbers, though all the three claims that they didn't do what they are accused for.

The version I saw was not texted and since they all are speaking broken Norwegian, it's sometimes hard to grasp what they are saying, especially because the sound editing isn't exactly brilliant all the time.

The film gives a good depiction of the milieu and this part of Oslo, but is so slow moving and explaining that it disturbs the storytelling a bit for me. Still, if you have the patience in following a young astray boy struggling with changing friends and finding out other vales than crime, this is most certainly worth it.
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The Insomniac (2013)
Entertaining 80'ies throwback mystery impossible to predict outcome of.
16 April 2017
The Insomniac is a very entertaining movie mystery about the young man John Figg (flawlessly played by Eddie Salazar) who has everything until he loses his father in a massive heart attack. But having been very smart and effective, he gets a nice promotion, followed with great confidence by his boss (John Heard). His girlfriend and him are moving into a luxurious house in a new suburban neighborhood, but then one morning going to job his classic car, inherited from his father is missing, with a cheeky post-it note left. After work he comes home finding his house robbed and his fathers ashes thrown around in the living room, once again with a note.

This is how The Insomniac by director Monty Miranda starts off, and the title tells us what happens next. John Figg are not able to sleep, and the sleep deprivation slowly makes him lose grip, and he starts suspecting almost everyone is untrustworthy. Even his clients, like the rich Jairo Torres (Danny Trejo), which he out of nowhere accuses of doing the break in.

The film gave me a nice throwback to one of those nice crazy thrillers with insane plots we saw so many of in the 80'ies. i found the film immensely entertaining, and with a plot you simply don't know where's going. A film which both seems familiar and then has an insane plot, is just what i was looking for today.

The film also makes you guessing to the end. What a blast!
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The history of a manic antiabortion priest
18 March 2017
this documentary visits a shivering and old Børre Knudsen, priest in Balsfjord, which was an anti-abortionist activist which turned to extremist fight against.

Today he is an angst-ridden, shivering old man with Parkinsons decease, pursued by the devil, after his own saying. He still, has his old beliefs, this documentary tells. His wife, and life long supporter, or even mentor, doesn't understand why a holy man like him, serving even the unborn life, can be so ridden with devil and decease.

Well made film, and a sad, but still interesting glimpse of an old Christian extremist.

An interesting part is where he actually asks himself and to the camera who is the mad here. If it is him, or the ones killing little unborn life. A good film, and the man is still raving mad!
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Mattress Men (2016)
Helping to save a mattress shop and survive recession
4 March 2017
The plot of this documentary with comic elements is as follows:

Trying to save his struggling mattress business in Ireland's recession, Michael Flynn reinvents himself as the eccentric online persona "Mattress Mick". He doesn't own property or even a car, just his family.

He decides to get help and guidance from his unemployed friend friend Paul Kelly, hiring him to help make a growing business making funny videos on social media. As business actually begins to grow, their friendship starts getting trouble.

When Stephen Fry with his 8 million followers on Twitter tweets about him things starts taking off.

The film tells about everyday struggling, applying ideas to make it work.

Kudos for making this film. It works!
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True story white rage killer tells how bully-revenge is decided
3 March 2017
This is a beautifully made biopic documentary made by a psychologist about about Finland's two first shocking school shooting in 2007 at Jokela High School.

We follow the 14 year old until he becomes a killer at 16. It's "Lauri" telling the story from start to finish, on how he as an quiet A-student was experiencing bullying getting worse and worse, and how he started planning his revenge after reading philosophy. He tells how he detaches himself when bullied, and that he started preparing with weapons, when he was attacked, after a long time not answering any of the violence for years.

Another older school shooter at Kauhajoki is focused upon. A bullied boy getting over it. After he took up volleyball, he learned team play, and he had a great time and became a part of a successful team, but the coach, who really saw him, told him that he shouldn't endure the bullying. for a long time, volleyball was his savior, and he stops thinking about revenge.

But the problem came back when he became the loner and the teacher's favorite student. He became alienated, and was succumbed to rumors about sexual harassment and for exams cheating. Though cleared for both, this stuck to him. And then he shot eleven at Kauhajoki.

Then the film really starts explaining the pattern.

The film explains black rage as being so angry that you are almost loose of control and white rage as rage being built op over years. White rage is calm and collected, and is not psychological excepted, the film states. These killers are calm, friendly and with control.

The film explains "stigma". Why changing schools doesn't help. Then the film really starts explaining the pattern.

We also goes abroad, to Germany, the states and the Utøya massacre in Norway, explaining that Breivik was sane, while shooting 69 kids at Utøya. They are all victims of childhood trauma and bullying.

The film definitely is well made. The cinematography is weirdly beautiful, and the history-teller is very calm.

White Rage is a film that really stays at you even after watching., I have never felt a film so explanatory about school shootings psychology. It's a documentary everybody would learn something from. See it!
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Þrestir (2015)
A dark coming of age story in breathtaking nature
19 February 2017
Sparrows is an Icelandic coming of age movie about the teenage boy Ari, who is forced to move in with his estranged father when his mother goes to work in Africa. At first it looks like it goes well, after he reluctantly has accepted the move from the city to a rural fishing community, with all that this involves. Soon he starts to hate it. And from then on it goes down. The film grows darker without me telling more about this, not to spoil any. The film is not for those who wants a happy-go-lucky story, because it isn't.

The film is beautifully shot, and the actors are all doing an outstanding job, Atli Oskar Fjalarsson playing Ari in particular. The father, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, and grandmother Kristbjörg Kjeld is also outstanding, as well as Rade Serbedzija, who plays Timislav at his working place. Top notch, and once more another great film from Iceland.

The film is Rúnar Rúnarsson's second feature after the acclaimed "Eldfjall" ("Volcano"), and again he shows a great talent. It's also the second time main actor is in one of his films. Atli Oskar Fjalarsson also played in his "2 Birds" from 2008, as a kid.

The trailer gives an OK view of the film without telling too much, and not the dark parts. So then you're warned.
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Kocken (2005)
Intense psychological drama which draws you in
8 February 2017
The Chef is a quite intense psychological drama with so many intense moments that it almost feels like a thriller. The film gives a very human approach to the tense situation which might occur when strong personalities, and even psychopaths, rule an environment.

Young Martin gets hire as a second cook on his first journey om a long- traveling cargo ship, where he meets another youngster, being a cabin boy beneath him in working range order. The intense atmosphere on board between the men of all ages makes for many problems. The slow burner of a film reveals that there is both hidden pasts, secrets, passion and different opinions crashing, and the two teenagers soon get tangled up in the nasty spider web.

The acting is superb, and I found the film very interesting. The menacing chef, the uncertain youngsters, the stay away veteran, as well as the other crew which we don't get so intensely known with. Still the roles a full of depth, and not at all convoluted. This makes it all an exciting journey through to unknown territory.

Kjell Bergqvist is wonderfully cast in this role, and he enjoys this role very much. The youngsters are doing a great job as well. An underrated film according to the rating here.
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Maratus (2015)
SHORT REVUE: Great little short documentary
3 February 2017
A nice, exciting and beautifully told documentary about a hobby photographer taking a picture of a never before photographed funny little, and very colorful jumping spider. The hobby photographer is a common man, which haven't made his potential so far in life, but this photo eventually changes his life.

The meeting with the three main persons, the photographer, his grandmother and the scientist is very lively depicted, and us viewers end up seeing a charming and uplifting story.

Even though the film is no longer than 30 minutes, it feels like a full ended documentary.
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My Old Lady (2014)
A well acted dragging tragic drama, with four half-funny lines
3 February 2017
This is not a comedy, and the trailer is totally misleading. Maybe this is why I find I didn't like it, but the film is a drama with a disjointed family with difficult past.

Surely a film with loads of life wisdom, but still he story doesn't function very well. Didn't find it interesting, it's quite depressive and unfunny, except for a couple of half-funny lines. I would call it a waste of great talent.

The film is about a dead father and the ones inheriting a flat and debt after a man none really liked.

Nothing to watch if you aren't into serious and tragic dramas with no real plot, and nothing happening except crying, quarreling and talking. A film easy to misinterpret and quite easy to hate if you're looking for something entertaining.
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