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Se mig! (2002)
Lifestyles of the non-rich and non-famous
26 November 2004
This documentary reveals the brainless quest for fame and some sort of glamour that many useless dolts engage in. Not one single person in this documentary has done anything to deserve it, and yet they crave it so bad that they are ready to do anything to get it. Not very inspiring.

What's even worse is the fact that this is dutifully reported in some of Sweden's largest newspapers as if it is of any interest to anyone what these morons do.

It is depressing yet enlightening to see this documentary - depressing because these people are absolutely mindless and uninteresting and still seem to gain some of the fame they desperately seek, and enlightening because it makes you feel good about being able to distance yourself from the low-life trash who think nothing is too low to get famous.
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9/10
Irony for the wicked
1 November 2001
If you understand irony, this film should be a real riotous laugh straight through. It is possibly one of the most brilliant movies so far this millennium, outright disrespectful of the "spy" theme: Brosnan's degenerated, decadent b*****d spy Osnard is just the way one would picture James Bond in real life, had the latter not been so awfully loyal. Actually, Osnard is James Bond minus loyalty and with his self-confidence, decadence and sexism turned up a couple of notches. A brilliant character, brilliantly acted. Another fantastic actor is the amazing Geoffrey Rush in the role as the Tailor of Panama, Harry Pendel.

The story is absolutely fascinating, one of the most clever and witty stories to emerge in a long while - the Tailor of Panama reluctantly becomes a spy and conjures up non-existent government plots to sell the Panama Canal to the Chinese, which makes the English and the Americans (portrayed as a bunch of idiots with delusions of grandeur and as militaristic blow-hards with victory as the only goal) react aggressively.

It is important that one understands that this film is serious in one respect only: its comedy. Don't see this expecting to see a thrilling spy-movie. It isn't, though I find the scope of the film thrilling. It's more of a comedy, and if you can't see that when the American general with tears in his eyes blurts: "There is a star missing from the American flag!", then you're not really equipped for this kind of film. The reason I'm writing this is that some reviewers have found the movie to be silly... which is just what one would think if one didn't get it.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.
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15 Minutes (2001)
5/10
Corny but fun
26 October 2001
Besides being way to obvious a moral lecture, "15 Minutes" is way to aloof to be of any real depth and interest. But apart from that, it is kind of fun to watch this weird thing run its course - for it is actually pretty different and is entertaining, despite the silly depiction of media as a bunch of hysterical sensation-hunters (yes, I know they exist, but this is far too depressing a picture). Anyway - Robert DeNiro in this movie is like using dynamite to open a difficult lid.
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7/10
Sensational Jovovich in grand movie
26 October 2001
For being a film that is slightly above average, it contains performances that alone saves this film from being too light on the subject. Milla Jovovich is simply sensational as Jeanne D'Arc, the savior of Orléans, who went to war against the English after having received a message from God.

The most exciting part of this film is not the war itself or the intricate dealings that led to Jeanne D'Arc's demise - but the dialogue between Jeanne and her own conscience, aptly played by the Man with the Voice, Dustin Hoffman. Did she really receive a message from God, or was it the need for revenge that spurred her visions. Did she not enjoy the taste of blood in battle? Very interesting twist indeed, and that, together with Jovovich's amazing acting, keeps this film from falling into the average.
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6/10
Spectacular, interesting and... a failure
18 October 2001
Warning: Spoilers
(spoiler warning)

The first 1 h 50 min or so of this film are absolutely brilliant. Funny, clever, chilling and exciting. A story quite unlike many others. Then it suddenly dies, falls flat onto the stony floor. The last portion of the film is completely awful, making this one of the best films I've seen that has the most depressingly lousy finale. A shame, considering the work laid down to make it a classic. It could have ended with David begging the Blue Fairy to be turned into a real boy - but nopes. It has to end happily - and I've never seen such a desperate search for a happy ending. A great idea and a fantastic film ruined.
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Moulin Rouge! (2001)
10/10
A massive storm of music
18 October 2001
If you don't like movie musicals, don't make the mistake of dismissing "Moulin Rouge". For it is no ordinary musical. It's more of a massive storm of music, visuals and emotions, resplendent with all the decadence of turn-of-the-century cultural life in Paris, loaded with musical anachronisms ranging from Nirvana to "Sound of Music", all with a rapid music video style. Compelling, spellbinding and very, very funny. The story, otherwise crippled by sentimentality and awful cheesiness, is brought to its feet by this enormous mass of motion. Ol' Paris anno 1899 is brought to scandalous life and the drinking of Absinthe is glorified by the absinthe fairy, Kylie Minogue. This is the very definition of entertainment.

10/10 for an outrageous, insane monster movie musical. I'm off to buy the soundtrack.
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6/10
It didn't change my life
8 October 2001
Of course, I never really considered myself to be such an *sshole. But "Pay it Forward" (and many a comment) promises a lot - and this film is pretty good. But it doesn't really satisfy me. It is exceptionally well acted, but that's no surprise: all three leads have proven their worth more than once. Osment must be the most talented child actor the world has ever seen. It's kind of hard to answer what it is that this film lacks, but I'll give it a shot: it fails to make the idea of paying it forward feel like a great one. It focuses on other things that are not as interesting and in the end, it just feels as if the world is exactly the same place as it was before. Nothing really happened. And there it is.
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4/10
Seen worse
8 October 2001
Oh well... I've seen a lot worse than this. It's brainless, its only selling point are the three gorgeous women and the script is stuck halfway between nonexistence and Never-never-land. Not completely awful, but still I have a hard time finding the point. But I'm guessing it's got something to do with money.
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Thirteen Days (2000)
7/10
Gripping and fascinating
8 October 2001
A fascinating and very exciting dramatization of the events in the crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Truth and drama are splendidly mixed and filmed with harsh straightforwardness. Artistic freedom is sure to have been taken, but it's hard to know where and to what degree - at any rate, the political advisor Kenny O'Donnell sure is one major hero in this film and I have heard some voices stating that he never played that pivotal a role. It doesn't really matter though. The Cuba crisis remains a great example of how potentially lethal (and global) conflicts can be resolved with the pen rather than the sword, and someone is sure to be a great hero. It is also interesting to note that the president of the USA is not always so in control of the might at his disposal. After all, he's only human.
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JFK (1991)
8/10
Riveting, chilling and brilliant
8 October 2001
This film is a landmark movie, not insomuch as it is very interesting and makes one wonder, but more so for its ability to absolutely rivet the spectator for three hours, despite being almost nothing but talk, talk, talk. It is full of amazing acting and brilliant filming, surprises and very, very interesting points of discussion. It grabs you and holds you until the very last minute, and if one doesn't walk out of the theater with at least a thoughtful mind, then one is simply not very interested in this bit of American history at all.
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6/10
Fast fun
3 September 2001
Jurassic Park is an idea that will spawn a multitude of sequels, of varying quality. The second movie, "The Lost World" was pretty good (and I for one loved the ending), and the third is slightly better. We're back to the confines of Isla Sorna, Site B, and the ferocious Velociraptors and Tyrannosaurs, the cast is small and the action is pretty much constant. Fun for everybody. The idea to play around with a mobile phone is very clever. But why did they have to make this huge monster that bellows like Godzilla (and acts pretty much the same)? It doesn't look like a dinosaur. The T-Rex is a lot more effective ('cause everybody knows they existed).
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Livvakterna (2001)
7/10
Good... and Swedish!
14 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
The world is awash with awful police movies, and Sweden has contributed some to this fact. "Livvakterna" (The Bodyguards) is a fresh new attempt at the Swedish police thriller, and actually succeeds. The victim of a Russian mafia scam, Sven Persson (Fröler) is blackmailed by some mercenary ex-Stasi super-criminal and his gang. When Persson refuses to pay up, well... you know the drill. Nothing really revolutionary. Meanwhile, former police investigator Johan Falk quits the force because he is ostracized by his superiors (again, nothing new) and joins a team of bodyguards to back his old pal Sven Persson up against the mafia gang.

No new twists and turns, the same old story. Then why is it good? Well, the characters are believable, the performances are good, and there is something different about Swedish action-thriller flicks. This one is far more violent than most, but is still kept at a fairly decent level, no tremendous explosions and stuff, just plain shooting, car chasing through the Swedish forest (very nice) and then shooting some more before the quite exciting finale. Of course, in line with tradition, there's a lot of looking confused, grim, confused again and then very, very dedicated before the good guys win (oh, gimme a break, that's not a spoiler).

Performances are fine, except for maybe Alexandra Rapaport who should just stay away from this kind of film for she is clearly not cut out for it. The action itself is believable and even cool at some points. So, all in all, a good action movie. And Swedish at that.
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7/10
Funny stuff
1 August 2001
A movie that gets the amount of attention that "Bridget Jone's Diary" has received is thought to have some deeper point to it, but pretty much like "Notting Hill" or "Four Weddings...", this one is very, very enjoyable without actually having one. I'm not saying that it is completely pointless - I'm saying that the diary of Bridget Jones really doesn't reveal anything revolutionary or cast any new light on men vs. women. Some men are a**holes, most are not. Some women are degraded gold diggers, most are not. Most people are just like Bridget Jones - willing, kind and really low in the confidence department. Therefore, all the fuss about this being such an "insight" is bull. In the end Bridget Jones just wants stability, love and calm and shies away, quite rightly, from sleazy s.o.b. men like her boss (Grant)

It is a very funny movie though - not quite in the caliber of "Notting Hill", but still a good laugh. The acting is impeccable (with that cast it would be impossible to miss), Zellweger, Grant and Firth are all enjoying their respective roles so clearly, some of their good mood spills over the brim.

Good fun.
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8/10
Bow your heads!
31 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
(spoiler warning)

No matter what can be said about the remaking of classic films, "Planet of the Apes" makes for the best of them. This can be attributed to not being very much like the original since only some basic premises and plot lines are the same. And being so lush with fantastic scenery, great makeup and effects, the 2001 edition is much more exciting to watch, despite being a little less concerned with afterthought. Tim Burton is a favorite of mine. His dreamscapes are sometimes a tad lacking in the meaning department, but they are always resplendent with true artistic ambitions. "Planet of the Apes" is no exception.

One could argue about some of the differences from the first movie of 1968. A major one is making humans able to speak, which can be seen as a weak spot. Though helping Leo Davidson (Wahlberg) considerably, this "new" feature makes some of the philosophizing somewhat dimmer - the apes ask themselves whether humans have souls. But would one actually argue that a being that is able to form its own thougts and speak them would not have one? I wonder. On the other hand, since Davidson is responsible for the entire future scenario on this planet of apes, ancient grudges can make the apes selective in their thinking: humans tortured them for so long. Philosophic arguments might not go a long way with them.

Humor is an important ingredient in the new "Planet of the Apes". While the original is sternly sober and not very witty at all (Heston's grim look is heavy to bear), this one flirts quite handsomely with human characteristics transferred to apes. Very funny and Burton-esque. I also appreciate the careful depiction of the apes movements and behavior. While clearly developed beyond their ancestors, the apes still retain a great deal of "monkey" characteristics - growling, aggressiveness and jumping around rather than walking. The original "Planet of the Apes" had the monkeys walking around much like ordinary humans, which flattened some of the impact.

Still, it is unnecessary to compare them in other respects, since the new one is not really a remake and not really a sequel either. I for one welcome it. It doesn't contain the same degree of commentary on humanity that the 1968 movie did, but that one is not anywhere near as spectacular. A good job. I bow my head to Tim Burton and his crew.
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6/10
Witty but slow
31 July 2001
The third APES movie is better than the second (almost anything would be), but lags behind the first one a great deal, to nobody's surprise. It is witty but painfully slow - the escape of Cornelius and Dr. Zira from the doomed future Earth lands them right smack in the 70's, where they are greeted with surprise and fear. The films borders on ridiculous at some points, but some echoes from the 1980 "Elephant Man" by David Lynch can be detected, suggesting Mr Lynch took a good look at this one before the making of that fantastic movie.

Slowly the film degenerates and just seems to end without any adequate point having been made, and as it gets slower and slower towards the end, it gets hard to understand the need for making it. But the initial surprise and the human reactions are still enjoyable.
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2/10
The higher you climb the harder you fall
31 July 2001
The second movie in the saga is by an extremely wide margin the very worst of them - it is actually completely awful in itself, let alone as a sequel to the great first APE movie.

Most of the story is a heavy-handed commentary on religion, war and the use of nuclear weapons - the dialogue is so pompous and the idea so pretentious that most of the acting seems more fit for the stage rather than the screen. The ending is disastrous, actually making the entire point of the film meaningless.
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8/10
If this one isn't classic, then I don't know what is
31 July 2001
A great sci-fi-classic, almost legendary in proportions - and it's easy to see why. Serious sci-fi movies very often speak to its viewers, commenting on the world and society. The setting is very different and the ending is just fantastic. An amazing movie with a lot of facets. Arguably, while the effects and makeup seem a bit stiff and 1960-ish (what else?) nowadays, the performances, the story and the compelling scope of this film makes one forget in instantly.
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Evolution (2001)
5/10
Hmmm... welllll.... kinda fun...
29 July 2001
Some parts very funny, some parts just ordinary homegrown American all-that-is-vaguely-taboo-is-fun (hence the ass-poking scenes), some grossness thrown in and, last but surely not least, a famous actor well-known for his TV-series to which some jokes can be directed. "Evolution" is a bit strange, a combination of fun and not so fun that just doesn't really land very well and that has an extremely silly ending. Stupid characters and some redundant along with a dimwit script (I mean the periodic table deal, what the hell is THAT!?) - but sometimes it manages to be very funny. I have a soft spot for Duchovny, so lets hope he finds better movies after this one.
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Pearl Harbor (2001)
5/10
Ambitious but so-so
15 July 2001
Critics have been eager to berate this film, which is understandable. Filmmakers have to be very careful when taking on a historic event of this magnitude. The reason for the success of "Titanic" was that, beyond a somewhat lowbrow script and mushy love story, great care was taken to depict in detail just what the great ship Titanic was all about. The legend of Titanic was treated with respect (if not augmented). "Pearl Harbor" lacks a great deal of historic insight and care for details.

There are two major flaws with this film. The first, and most important one, is the love story itself. Dizzy with the immense success of "Titanic" amongst the young communities, the makers saw their chance to make big money in a grand love story set in an event of legendary proportions. The story feels really added-on, though, the attack and the ensuing retaliation effort (I will get to THAT part later) suddenly strip the story of its heart and soul. Furthermore, the characters are one-dimensional - despite fine acting by all parties - and one is never really given a chance to connect to them in any way.

The second major flaw is the entire last hour of the film. It seems to be (and probably was) added to the script just to educate the world that the USA always wins, no matter what. The fact that the attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the most astounding military successes of all time is downgraded by the need to emphasize on US greatness. A suicide mission to drop a few pathetic bombs on a factory in Tokyo didn't really deter the Japanese from continuing their massive offensive in South East Asia. It is an unnecessary part, and the movie becomes terribly overlong.

What, then, makes it okay? Well, obviously the attack itself is depicted with incredible force and with a great feeling for drama and action (which Bruckheimer-Bay team is no stranger to), some of the scenes are just awesome. The aerial battles are also very well envisioned - even though no American planes took to the sky during the battle. The acting is pretty good, not bringing a lame script to life like DiCaprio and Winslet did in "Titanic", but nonetheless helps keeping it afloat. I also appreciate the fact that the Japanese were not depicted as cruel, insane killers who just attacked for fun. From their perspective, the attack on Pearl Harbor was the only sensible thing to do in order to keep their aggressive expansionist politics intact. I'm not defending it in any way - I'm just stating the facts.

So quite why the critics have to massively downgrade this movie, I don't really understand. It's very far from being the grand historic spectacle it could have been - it is merely entertaining - and it doesn't bring any new light to the actual event. Ultimately, it isn't the kind of film that I will remember with any clarity. It's just fiction. As such, it works pretty well.
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6/10
Scared me more than horror movies
30 June 2001
It's funny how scary ordinary life can be - even though Close's character is nowhere near normal, she sure is believable, and that makes it a lot more frightening. This is a good story that from a rather innocent (no pun intended) start gets really chilly after a little while.

It's well worth watching.
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5/10
Rope-danglin' and snow blowing up
29 June 2001
Whatever there is to say about this film, it's not a slow one. But all the rope-dangling and falling and explosions doesn't really save it from a rather lame script, average performances and about a thousand tons of incredibility. It's not a bad film, I liked it a lot more than "Cliffhanger" (the only other film with a lot of climbing that I can think of right now), but "Vertical Limit" will not make a lasting impression on me. To that end, a lot more intelligence and less rope-danglin' is required.
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Wonder Boys (2000)
9/10
Great story, great performances
29 June 2001
Sometimes, movie makers manage to create a world that one cannot resist being pulled into. In this world one lingers for a couple of hours, waiting for the next minute with a smile on one's lips. "Wonder Boys" is one of the best movies of recent years in that it successfully drags the viewer along on it's whimsical and sometimes really strange journey.

The characters are believable despite their alien behaviors - the only normal person around might just be Hannah Green (Holmes), skirting around the main characters like an observing ghost. Douglas is pulling off what must be his best performance ever, portraying a decaying, once-famous addict writer with a severe case of reversed writer's block: he can't finish his novel and he can't stop writing... Tobey Maguire is very well cast with his innocent yet troubled look, and Frances McDormand is just as she always is: fantastic.

I'm very impressed with this film, which took me off-guard. Not many I know went to see it. I'm glad I did.
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Titan A.E. (2000)
4/10
Great visuals, the rest is left-overs
29 June 2001
It is very clear that the makers of this movie so badly wanted to make a visually stunning animated film that they completely forgot all the rest: the characters, the sound track, the story - all of it is just a load of left-overs. "Titan A.E." is over quickly, but not until it has bored the interest out of the audience over a certain age. The sound-track is a weary attempt at adding some action to the whole thing, but it just doesn't.

Too bad, 'cause I like the basic idea.
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The Evil Dead (1981)
1/10
No
29 June 2001
First off, let me say that this type of movie doesn't really tickle me. It is possible, though, that through wit and cleverness win me over. This one failed miserably. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Not only did it fail to provide me with an answer, "Evil Dead" made me just laugh outright at its awfulness. For being ultra low budget, it was well made. But apart from the gross-out effects, this movie could have been made by a monkey.
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6/10
Brainless entertainment
31 May 2001
Put your brain in screensaver mode. "The Mummy Returns" is hysterical, violent, paces like a jet fighter and once off the ground, never pauses. The story does to egyptology what you do to an annoying bug on the ground - but it is nevertheless entertaining and quickly forgotten. A great matiné movie. There are no real surprises, though - except for Rachel Weisz who has somehow acquired some sort of ancient Egyptian (?) martial art. It seems that every movie must have one or two scenes of martial arts fighting after "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". But what the heck. I never expected anything intelligent anyway.
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