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An Idiot Abroad (2010)
You'll find no better travel guide...
Finally,an honest travel guide to accompany you to the most famous sightings in the world.Don't expect adoring sighs and ramblings about the lovely local beverages and cuisine though.
And that's exactly what makes this series a stroke of genius.Karl is a reluctant traveler and not easily impressed.He engages in philosophical monologues,and he's almost always spot-on.Even the most experienced globe-trotter laughing at Karls awkward attempts to mount a Mexican rodeo horse or Egyptian camel will probably agree,even if not out loud. Most exotic activities and festivities he will refer to as being "mental". He fills his suitcase with Monster Munch thus hoping to evade the worst expressions of local cuisine.Such as toad and balls. To no avail.Because Gervais and Merchant have,naturellement,booked him at the scruffiest of hotels(if he even gets to a hotel)and arranged for him to eat and experience things he probably never wanted to do ever in his life.To make things worse they send numerous text messages simply to annoy him.At one point Karl ponders the use of modern technology in the western world,how we mostly use it as entertainment. Behind him deaf Egyptian fast-food restaurant employees use their mobiles to make video calls. And Karl produces his own mobile to show for the camera what his friend Ricky G usually send him. I love it.Every annoying thing about traveling that you never dared to mention to your people-of-world friends will be aired here. Go watch!Pronto!
Never compare apples and plums
I am of the opinion that everything in life needs to be viewed in a proper perspective.You can't compare Princess Diaries to a masterpiece directed by Ridley Scott.It would be profoundly unfair to both parties. Over all,this movie which I happened to watch one night when it was too late to bother finding something else worth watching on TV,is okay to pass an hour and a half with when you need an uncomplicated laugh. No more,no less. A romcom for girls under 20 and perhaps their moms. Full of americanocentric stereotypes,a fictional continental European country which resembles a liliput nation such as Luxembourg and where people's names are a mish-mash of Italian,French and German-sounding syllables. Think "General von Klinkerhoffen" from "Allo',Allo'" and you will be pretty close. A country where monarchy actually RULES,like it did in the medieval times,a fictional,uncomplicated Europe with Sleeping Beauty- castles,green pastures complete with shepherds and cobbled streets.And all of this meets a gum-chewing,easy-going all-American girl who introduces the revolutionary idea of women actually being able to marry whomever they choose. What a remarkable achievement!
It initiallt frightens me a bit to think that some people in the USA actually might believe that this represents a true picture of the European countries where monarchy still exist,but the thought is merely amusing.No,European monarchs do not RULE countries,they are merely trade marks. So now you know it.
The Doctors (2008)
Just don't get it
This show puzzles me.I wonder what makes people mail and get tickets to be on the show simply for discussing sometimes extremely private matters INSTEAD of asking their own doctor.In private. This phenomena kind of both scare and fascinate me.Are we so anxious for TV and other media to confirm our existence today? Do the people who ask The Doctors questions lack medical insurance so this is their only chance to get some medical advice? Don't think so.They seem to be well-dressed middle-class people,sometimes verging on hysterical(especially the worried moms),but seemingly fairly well-educated and bourgeoise.
Alas,this show hasn't got a lot of potential.If you've seen one episode,you pretty much get it.Asking your own doctor seems a whole lot easier in the long run.
Anna Pihl (2006)
If you're familiar with the danish police series "Rejseholdet" you will know that good police series doesn't necessarily have to be American or British.
Unfortunately,"Anna Pihl" was never even nearly as good as "Rejseholdet". The basic plot here evolves around a rookie female police officer starting off at her new job at a police station somewhere in Copenhagen in the pilot. She's cute-ish and pretty enough,but not too beautiful in a supermodel fashion because of course we want the audience to take her seriously as a career woman,not to focus on her chest size or legs. She's also idealistic and becomes engaged in the private lives of the people she comes into contact with in her profession.She even assumes the role of Nancy Drew when the working day is done,when she somewhat awkwardly tries to solve her clients'private issues when she can't do it in her role as a police officer.And of course,she's a single mother with a moderately hopeless ex-husband who have no more serious flaws than that he occasionally shows up with yet another new girlfriend Anna hasn't approved to being near her son.
Her father is a widower and depressed after the passing of his wife,but suddenly he shows up with a new love by his side-and to top it off,she's younger than Anna. Anna's love interest at the police station is a cute,sensitive guy with a motorbike,brown wavy hair and a smile soft as velvet. Her son is adorably sweet and clever.Sometimes she can't find a babysitter or her ex fails to pick their son up from kindergarten in time,but it hardly gets worse than that. She even cuddles in the couch with her landlord at nights,not as a couple since he's gay,but just as really good friends.Hunky dory. In short,Annas life is really quite perfect and there is the problem. This series lacks nerve and in the end,it just annoyed me to see Anna leap off to rescue people off-hours and how she disobeys orders to follow her heart and play hero. I sure don't think any real life police officer would get away with the behavior Anna displays on a daily basis.But of course,she's cute. I suppose that's a very forgiving trait.
The Sleepy Time Gal (2001)
An indie cliché
The first thing that crossed my mind when I had watched this movie for a few minutes was how predictable some things were.Oh,I thought.Here we have an aspiring indie flick,let's see how much I can guess from the story.It was more than I had hoped for unfortunately. Not that the acting is bad,it is not,but the story,the lines,the characters are unfortunately full of clichés.The lines often feels unnatural and far-fetched,people in real life won't talk to one another as if they were acting in an on-stage play.I'm sorry,they don't.
The free-spirited and deeply intellectual former radio host Frances has three children with three different men.Every man she meets is of course attracted to her and fascinated by her,and she has mother issues(the mother is now senile but still mean and lives in a nursing home.Anna,Frances's mother, looks much younger than she should,if we assume that the story takes place around 2000).Frances too looks far younger than around 70 as she should be as it's stated in the movie that she's born in 1930. Her two sons are both intellectuals/artists too,even if constantly broke.The daughter she had with her married lover Bob was of course given up for adoption and is now,as Frances is dying from cancer,looking for her.Her name is Rebecca and she is a highly paid lawyer in New York. God forbid she would be an unnoticed housewife in the middle of nowhere. Will she find her mother before she dies?
Sleepy time gal has it's qualities.It's almost hypnotic to watch,the score consists mostly of strings and jazz,naturellement. I would have been a lot more surprised,moved and shaken if the story had been more unpredictable.And if the lines had felt more genuine.
'Allo 'Allo! (1982)
Ingenious show on a WW2 backdrop
"Allo,allo" was one of my first sitcom-experiences,it was launched when I was 8 and well before the boom of American sitcoms in Sweden. It felt cozy despite being set on a WW2 backdrop,it dealt with difficult subjects in a humorous manner without ever being tasteless.It corroborated the fact that laughter may be a very effective and uniting way of dealing with difficult and tabooed issues. Of course it's full of ethnic stereotypes(not least the British!),but they are almost always created with heart and warmth.Even the Germans.
The show rotates around René Artois,a café-owner in the small town of Nouvion somewhere in France.He's married to Edith Melba since many years,and he's constantly cheating on her.Mostly with his waitresses,Yvette and Maria(who is replaced by Mimi Labonq in season 3). René's dilemma is surviving the war with as little trouble as possible and to do so he feels compelled to stay on the sweet side of both the Resistance,the German army,the Gestapo and the communist resistance.Not an easy task. The German lieutenant Gruber is gay and is almost immediately attracted to René,who despite the fact that he's not only bald and corpulent,but also married seem to be the most sought-after man in Nouvion.
Other significant characters is Edith's mother Fanny LaFan(mostly referred to as "the silly old bat" by René),Michelle of the Resistance with her ever reoccurring one-liner "listen carefully,I shall say this only once",Fanny's fiancé Monsieur Leclerc(possibly Edith's father),Monsieur Alphonse the undertaker(and Edith's suitor)and the ever hilarious officer Crabtree,a British intelligence agent who works under cover in Nouvion disguised as a police officer.Known for his bad french. And of course the waitresses.And the German colonel Von Strohm,lieutenant Gruber,Gestapo officer Flick and his sidekick Engelbert Von Smallhausen,Helga...all very enjoyable.
Some one-liners are repeated a bit too often,like when René calls Edith "you stupid woman" each time she catches him in the arms of a waitress,but it doesn't matter much. Few people will be able to resist the charm of this Britcom classic. Buy the box and enjoy when you feel cold and sad,it's a remedy as good as any,I promise!
The Big Bang Theory (2007)
Good,but not quite Two and a half men-class
Big Bang Theory first caught my interest since it was created by Chuck Lorre,one of the creators of my favorite among still-running sitcoms,the brilliant one-and-only "Two and a half men".A lot of people recommended "Big Bang Theory" so I thought I'd give it a try. The characters are,of course,created around popular stereotypes,somewhat more aimed towards a younger audience than the more mature "Two and a half men".
The plot evolves around four incredibly intelligent but geeky physicists who spend most of their free time playing WoW or watching SciFi-series,of course.They know next to nothing about how to attract women or even talk to them and when Penny,a cute blonde,cheer-leader-type girl moves in across the hall,they encounter a new perspective of life they know very little about.Sex. They are neurotic,thin and obsessive-compulsive(as over-intelligent people often are in fiction-world).At least Sheldon is,who to begin with show very little interest in things outside his area of expertise.Wolowitz is not really the neurotic type and he is also more outgoing than the rest of the bunch,but has somewhat overestimated his capabilities with the opposite sex.Worst off in the relationship area is Nayyar who goes completely silent in the presence of women.Wolowitz and Leonard are the gems in the cast,in my opinion.
Over all,TBBT is obviously a show with potential.The exaggerated stereotypes are sometimes a bit overdone,but I suppose it's nearly inevitable in a sitcom.I can live with that and still find it worth watching. Some things in the supposedly geeky look puzzles me,for instance would probably their taste in clothes be considered more hip than geeky in real life.
Give it a try if you haven't already,I believe the show will grow over time.
The Drew Carey Show (1995)
to stick out from the regular bunch of 100% family-oriented,boring sitcoms a'la Mad about you,Drew Carey Show is the ideal sitcom for those looking for a bit of not-always-politically-correct,mundane humor,great personal chemistry between the actors and the special Drew-twist to the humor. I wouldn't go as far as calling it the most innovative sitcom ever,that prize goes to Seinfeld,but it's innovative enough to stand in it's own right and will probably not be forgotten soon.After all,it had a good 9 year run. I dearly miss Drew Carey show and it's colorful characters,absolutely free from the usual husband-wife-kids stereotypes. More happily raunchy sitcoms with a BIG heart please!
The Shield (2002)
Either you hate or you love
this show it seems.I do neither,I just yawn and occasionally I laugh if I happen to watch an episode.I'm not a prude,I don't care if it's gritty as long as it's not aired before 10 p.m when kids might see it. I just can't stand the ridiculous camera work,yea,I know it's supposed to look documentary,but it looks like some network executive in his sixties has come up with what he thinks is just a brilliant,new,fresh idea.But instead it's been done to death,like "MTV-cutting".And almost always it fails.
Second,Michael Chiklis is not "bad guy"-material.I vaguely remember the Commish,and Scali was a role more suited for him.I mean,just shaving his hair off,putting shades on him,making him pump some iron and dressing him up in a tight shirt doesn't make up for the fact that he's just not a bad guy type. And you might wonder if a dirty cop who almost without exception beats the crap out of everyone who dares to contradict him would really be able to keep his job? I sure hope not.
Someone called this great humor...
and I'm inclined to agree.HeliCops isn't a good action series,it isn't exciting or intriguing as an action series should be.But it's hilariously funny.They say there are no German humor,this is just not true.Just take a look at HeliCops or Cobra 11 if you don't believe me. It has it's unintentional(I suppose)qualities like a bad Chuck Norris-movie.
There's just something with the platinum blonde guy playing the lead role,stone-faced like Schwarzenegger(probably his idol)that will lift your spirit whenever you feel low,if not in the way it was originally intended by the creators,so what?The British are the European masters of TV-series.And for a good reason. But I'm still sure HeliCops will be remembered,if not for quality so at least for it's uninhibited intentions of trying to be a true American-style action series,with absolutely no self-criticism.We need more of that kind of humor!
Borat,a hero of our time
You either love or hate the fictional,Kazakhstani journalist Borat.I love him.For all this character's ignorance and prejudice,his major accomplishment is to reveal the ignorance and prejudice of others-he takes us on a scary journey across western "civilization" where he's trying to make a "movie-film" about the "best country in the world",a.k.a the US,to show his fellow countrymen.
The question is,who is really the most civilized/uncivilized?Or are all humans equally uncivilized,but in different ways? I admire the courage of Sacha Baron Cohen,I can imagine he stirs up many emotions,the negative are probably the most powerful.Borat is not just a laughing stock,his helpless attitude make the people he meet equally helpless,they can no longer pretend to be superior. Most of the people he meet,interview or come across one way or the other show an from-above,contemptuous attitude,trying to be charming while teaching this "savage"(as they probably see him as)nice western manners. I laughed during the movie,but afterward I also felt slightly sick and even uneasy.Not because of Borat,he's not a real person,but because of all these "nice","normal" people he has revealed.They represent a great deal of the western world,so we should all probably feel a bit ashamed on their behalf.
Britney & Kevin: Chaotic (2005)
I don't know why I'm commenting this stupid reality-show I happened to watch a few episodes of(a cable marathon broadcast when they aired 5 episodes in a row or something,I didn't watch the entire thing though.Only like three episodes)as I was nine months pregnant and about to go into labor any day.Maybe I'm just bored today:-)
I feel sorry for Britney,I really do.For all her money and fame she seem to have very little sense of dignity.Or she's self-centered to the extreme.She married the nitwit Federline(okay anybody can make a mistake) and before that she "starred" this horrible show about her everyday life with him,where she shoves a camcorder wherever she feels like it,no matter if it is in someone's face or into the shower as Federline is standing in there. She's babbling about her sex-life without leaving anything to your imagination,I don't care for my part,but I can't help wondering how she feels about it now when she's divorced.And yes,for her sake I'm embarrassed.But I shouldn't be.She seem to live a pretty empty,shallow life though.I don't want to swap lives with her even if I could. Road-kill TV if you like.
Sex and the City (1998)
Neat,cool and single women
I like Sex and the City,it's a well-crafted show. It's a fun drama-comedy about four single,successful 30+ women living in N.Y,spending most of their time talking about men,shopping,having sex,talking about sex,fearing marriage,longing for marriage(at least one of them)and club-hopping.I can't relate to everything that much myself,not living a single,hip,childless life and not living in N.Y,but somehow you get the feeling that these women,however neurotic and even exaggerated,could be real people.They are in between very unlike each other,Miranda and Samantha being the most independent ones,firmly believing that a woman CAN lead a good,fulfilling life without being married.Samantha doesn't even think that she WANTS to have a steady man in her life.Charlotte aches to find Mr Right,Carrie too but she's more afraid of commitment and constantly comparing every boyfriend with the one-and-only Mr Big. Carrie is the narrator/newspaper columnist sharing her thoughts about men,single life,friends,fashion and life in general with her readers and of course,the TV-audience.
But still,I can't understand all the fuss about the "sex-scenes",are people really so fascinated by and obsessed with sex?There's a lot more interesting topics in here,psychology,group-dynamics,friendship. Maybe it's because I'm European I don't find the sex references so shocking,I don't know.But no one I know thinks that it's a provocative series because of the so-called sex-scenes/sex related topics,even if they do like the show. Most women want to have a close group of friends they can discuss and share EVERYTHING with,like Sam,Carrie,Miranda and Charlotte.Not too many adults have that,I think. Don't underestimate the female audience by thinking that they mostly watch it because of the sex-talk,sex-scenes and shopping sprees.Most of all,they long for a group of friends they can share everything with,and we probably all have a piece of Miranda,Samantha,Carrie or Charlotte inside.
100 höjdare (2004)
Entertaining clip show and more
Popular humor talk show both taped in studio with a celebrity guest and "on the road".The first seasons were taped in a studio setting with guest and audience where the World's and Sweden's most funny moments were listed,both in different categories and from 1-100,and all illustrated with a movie/video clip.The latest season is taped "on the road" as Filip and Frederik travels around Sweden to meet originals and various "odd" people living somewhat different lives from the typical average Joe.
Filip and Frederik has become two of Sweden's most popular TV-entertainers during the past few years,not only due to "100 höjdare" but also their other shows,the refreshingly different and humorous travel-lifestyle-show "Grattis Världen"(Congratulations,World")and "High Chaparrall" where they travel the around the US to meet various celebrities(or mostly has-beens)such as Uri Geller,Tonya Harding,Steve-O,Pamela Anderson and Gary Busey,in controversial interviews,day-trips and nights out.
High Chaparall (2003)
Unusual interviews and more
I didn't realize until now that High Chaparral has fans outside Sweden=) Filip and Frederik are unconventional interviewers/entertainers and they seldom become speechless or shocked by the interviewee's behavior no matter what.Their interviewee's may be drunk,stoned or generally behaving obnoxious,Filip and Frederik are fine with it.In High Chaparral they travel around the world(mostly the US obviously,since most celebrities are located there)to meet and interview celebrities and has-beens ranging from Fabio to Tonya Harding,Pamela Anderson and Gary Busey. They visit their homes,go to parties with them,meet their friends and ask very personal and sometimes raunchy questions.One celebrity per episode.
Two and a Half Men (2003)
A high-class,raunchy sitcom
Two and a half men is mainly based on adult,raunchy humor,so it's not entirely family-oriented which is definitely on the plus-account,I find it an absolutely fabulous sitcom(even if Seinfeld always will rule).I have three sitcoms I find worth watching(not exactly having the time to follow more anyway),and that's Seinfeld,Frasier and Two and a half men.
Charlie Sheen plays the playboy-type composer(of jingles and commercial ad-tunes mostly)Charlie Harper who lives a carefree,single life in his beach house in Malibu,looked after by his housekeeper Bertha(a wonderful sharp-tongued character and my favorite)and stalked by his neighbor,the kind-hearted Rose with whom he once had a brief affair.Basically he breaks up with at least one girlfriend every week. One day his bachelor life changes drastically as his newly separated,fairly timid and strict brother Al(in many ways Charlie's opposite)moves in after being chucked out by his now ex-wife,the neurotic Judith(from time to time ambivalent regarding her sexuality)who claims Al is suffocating her spiritually.Al has a son(about 10 yrs old),Jake,who lives with him every now and then on a scheduled basis.Charlie,at first very reluctantly,becomes the cool uncle/"second dad",an opposite to the often uptight father Al.
Jake will not let himself be fooled by embarrassed,lying adults,he asks legitimate questions that makes the adults blush and lie,but he's often just fine with it.He knows,like most kids,more than his parents give him credit for.A great many moments that most adults can relate to are guaranteed...and we must not forget Al and Charlie's narcissistic and self-absorbed mother,who has her own real-estate business and is often,for various understandable reasons,avoided by her sons.Bertha adds many needle-pricks and sharp comments.
The characters are of course somewhat exaggerated,but still very believable(like in Seinfeld),I commend the creators for that achievement.Not too many writers succeed in that.You feel sympathy for them all,even the narcissists.The humor is creative,witty and sharp,and it's refreshing to see that the writers for instance dare to let Al's and Charlie's mother Evelyn be a very selfish,egocentric character and that they dare to portray the son-mother relationship as far from perfect and ideal. They have all more or less neurotic,lazy,uptight,high-strung,immature or narcissistic traits and that makes me love them all even more.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Excellent adventure classic
I must admit I have a soft spot for old-fashioned adventure movies,especially the classic good vs evil kind.And what movie could better represent that category than Raiders of the lost ark... This is the first,classic Indiana Jones adventure in which he gets an assignment to find the Ark of commandments itself,to prevent it from being taken into possession by the Nazis(this is supposed to be in 1936 and the superstitious dictator Hitler is crazy about the occult). A lost artifact,which may still be in the possession of his old mentor professor Ravenwood,will be essential in this quest so his first destination is Tibet,Ravenwood's last known resort.Ravenwood is however no longer alive,so he then travels to Egypt,accompanied by Ravenwood's (at first) somewhat reluctant daughter/Indy's previous crush Marion(Karen Allen).The Nazis have discovered Tanis,a lost Egyptian city where the Ark is believed to be buried...so there's naturally no time to lose.
Well,I do like profound,philosophical movies that makes you think.But hey,who can resist a real,fantastic adventure every now and then? If you haven't already traveled with the excellent traveling companion Indy all over the globe,do it now!
See this one in Japanese!
First of all,you should see this movie in the original version.Why?Because it's based in Japanese culture and folklore.And,the remake won't give you the same feeling at all.It's Japanese.See it in Japanese. The basic plot is as follows;a short video clip is said to be shown on a local TV-station every now and then and anyone who sees it will die,within 7 days.Basically,all the victims seem to have died from plain terror,they are found with horrid expressions on their faces. Most of them are teenage girls. When journalist Reiko's cousin dies after seeing it,she decides to defy her fears and investigate the story to the full,helped by her ex-husband. What begins as sheer curiosity soon becomes a race for her own and her son's life.She discovers connections to a tale of a child with special and horrifying powers who met a dreadful end.I love Ringu.Psychological drama is mixed with good old horror movie dramaturgy to a nearly perfect horror blend.
A cozy half an hour every now and then
Frasier is one of those sitcoms that makes you laugh cordially every now and then and will make sure you feel comfortable and cozy in your favorite chair for half an hour a week.You don't have to dwell in angst and sentimentality(which can be a relief sometimes as we all know,still the humor is intelligent),nothing too startling is likely to happen,you just feel warm and happy inside for most of the time.Ideal when you're tired and worn after a hard day. It's a very decent sitcom without too conservative and/or boring ideals.People have their flaws and they are sometimes lonely and desperate like we all are at some point in life.Frasier's amicable,hearty dad Martin and their home-help Daphne with her lovely British accent adds even more warmth and they contrast to the somewhat stiff and self-absorbed psychiatrist/radio show host Frasier and his brother Niles,both very preoccupied with their social status. Frasier's sharp-witted producer Roz(my favorite) is something of a man-eater and has problems with finding Mr Right in her life.Still,she's a fun character with sharp lines. Frasier is as you all know a Cheers spin-off.I have never seen a lot of Cheers,just some random episodes that can be counted on the fingers on my hand,still I think I can tell Frasier is more enjoyable.
Another late night bad movie I happened to watch without intention=) I laughed out loud several times because it was so incredibly ridiculous. First I couldn't put my finger on why.The acting?Okay,it wasn't good,it was like the actors read their lines from a piece of paper.But okay for a B-movie. The story?Yeah,that must be part of it.The story is like a concoct of The Matrix,Terminator and Blade Runner topped up with some William Gibson,all gone bad.And all poorly done.Why the flickering green numbers and Japanese letters in front of people's faces for no obvious reason?Because it looks futuristic and "cool",and to give it some Blade Runner vibes?And headsets won't save a character's credibility either,PLEASE only put headsets on a character when motivated by the circumstances!!It will look really,really stupid otherwise. When Kam is presented as genetically engineered with falcon,chameleon and cougar genes I couldn't keep myself from laughing out loud. And what about the rubber suits,black leather and shades?To make Kam look like a sexy Molly Millions?Come ON!This movie makes me wonder why some scripts are picked up at all.It's obviously low-budget,and even if some visual effects are okay(it's hilariously funny/ridiculous to watch Kam blend into the background due to her chameleon genes,but the visual effect in itself is decently done),the story is crap,much like a really bad and cheap video game. Blade Runner is a classic,Ridley Scott knows how to direct a sci-fi story with nerve,darkness and atmosphere.Stuart Cooper obviously don't. If you have seen Blade Runner before,see it again instead of wasting time on Chameleon.Or read a Gibson novel.
I fell in love with Stalker
I never felt this movie was too long.And I don't see how people can expect a sci-fi adventure either,those who do have completely missed the point.I was submerged into it's dark and dreamy world immediately and I never felt bored. You also keep watching because you somehow hope that you will find out what these two seekers and their guide will find in the Room,never mind you know all the time that the Room isn't really a treasure chamber,star gate or anything like it.It's intriguing and at the same time you find yourself just as intrigued by their motifs and the deserted landscape(which I wanted to plunge into myself)which of course leads your thoughts to a nuclear disaster area. I guess you have to be of a somewhat poetic and gloomy disposition to really appreciate Stalker to its full.But it will take you on a journey you won't want to miss. I hope there will never be a English-language remake of Stalker(like Solaris).It's supposed to be in Russian,let it stay that way.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
effects for being this old,see this movie in a theater and not at home,that's my advice. If you're looking for an action sci-fi flick,this is not for you. The poetic nerve here is the strength of this future vision,where an expedition is sent to a place near Jupiter to explore the source of a monolith discovered on the moon. A similar one on earth was said to have made man evolve from the apes in the far past. Now the crew has technology to aid them,but technology seem to have its own mind and motives.HAL,the ship computer,seem to have become somewhat too human and start making his own decisions.His red all-seeing eye are watching the crew around the clock. In many ways this movie makes you wonder and ponder the role of technology,and what might happen if it one day may start making decisions of its own,without our consent. Do we really want computers with feelings and emotions?Really? The tripped ending was a slight disappointment though,it was too indefinite and drug-induced...
A future Disney classic
I loved "Cars",many kid's movies are just tedious for parents,so is not the case with "Cars".A solid two hours is a bit long for a kid to sit still though(I saw it with my three oldest,ages 8,7 and 4½)and they got a bit restless the last 20 minutes or so. Apart from that,they loved it too.Particularly the two oldest who are hardcore racing fans. "Cars" is about a new,flashing rookie racing car named McQueen(the Steve reference is for parents probably;).On his way to California for a very important race he takes an involuntary detour to a town where time has stood still since the fifties,no one stops there anymore,and to him the inhabitants are just hillbillies.And what was a very reluctant stay becomes a new life experience for him,with new friends and new values.Winning isn't everything. The animation is stunning,it's almost incredible that it's all "just animated". I have only seen it with Swedish voice-overs(because of my kids),but I'd love to see the original version too. I appreciate the more adult references,it gives us parents an extra treat:) I found myself both having a tear in the corner of my eye and getting lost in the beautiful scenery more than once.I think there's not one kid out there who won't love "Cars"!
Control Factor (2003)
Poor even for a B-movie
I just couldn't find it in myself to be even the slightest bit touched or intrigued by this movie.It's plain ridiculous,poorly made(no one has to add it had a tight budget,that's pretty obvious) and lacks nerve. The basic plot is based on the average conspiracy theory,a man living a seemingly good and fulfilling life with a well-paid job,pretty wife and a roomy,probably pricey apartment suddenly realize nothing is what he believed it was. After a particularly traumatic incident at work,he takes the day after off to recuperate. Then things happen,in short.He must solve the mystery,do something,escape,find out what's going on.Voices appear to be talking to him from inside his head,manipulating him to consider actions he never dreamed of performing.Who's behind this? Or is he just becoming mentally ill?Well...I don't know what else to say about it.I just found myself sneering when watching it,no shivers,tension or excitement whatsoever. Can't recommend it to anyone looking for something else than a good laugh,well maybe if you're suffering from insomnia and the pills your doc prescribed won't work.I can appreciate a good B-movie,but this just isn't.
Summer of Sam (1999)
A claustrophobic summer in NY
I saw Summer of Sam a late night on cable-TV and I couldn't stop watching it even if I hadn't planned to to begin with,it was far too late.It's a merciless movie about a brutal summer(the story is set in 1977) of heat waves,power-cuts,paranoia and random,brutal killings. I immediately got a feeling of claustrophobia that was very effective,I got a feeling of "being there" that was hard to ignore. The main story isn't about David Berkowitz at all,he's just a character flashing by in short and bloody sequences,but it is rather about people in the Italo-American community and how their lives and relations are affected by Son of Sam.We get to know the cheating Vinny,his friend Ritchie who has become a punk rocker and has to face suspicion and aggression from his own community and friends due to his new,startling appearance,and also Vinny's wife Dionna and Luigi,a powerful man in his neighborhood.Among others. With Son of Sam lurking in the dark,they soon have to face the importance of being able to trust your family,friends and those who live around you.
Basically it's a story about trust,deceit and how suspicion,fear of the unknown and betrayal can threaten and destroy friendship and relations.And last but not least about how fragile our faith and trust in others really are...